Lessons, narratives, and research directions for a sustainable circular economy Article - Décembre 2022

Sina Leipold, Anna Petit-Boix, Anran Luo, Hanna Helander, Machteld Simoens, Weslynne Ashton, Callie Babbitt, Alba Bala, Catharina Bening, Morten Birkved, Fenna Blomsma, Casper Boks, Alessio Boldrin, Pauline Deutz, Teresa Domenech, Navarro Ferronato, Alejandro Gallego-Schmid, Damien Giurco, Kersty Hobson, Roope Husgafvel, Cynthia Isenhour, Mait Kriipsalu, Donato Masi, Joan Manuel F. Mendoza, Leonidas Milios, Monia Niero, Deepak Pant, Keshav Parajuly, Stefan Pauliuk, Marina Pieroni, Jessika Luth Richter, Michael Saidani, Marzena Smol, Laura Talens Peiró, Stijn van Ewijk, Walter Vermeulen, Dominik Wiedenhofer, Bing Xue

Sina Leipold, Anna Petit-Boix, Anran Luo, Hanna Helander, Machteld Simoens, Weslynne Ashton, Callie Babbitt, Alba Bala, Catharina Bening, Morten Birkved, Fenna Blomsma, Casper Boks, Alessio Boldrin, Pauline Deutz, Teresa Domenech, Navarro Ferronato, Alejandro Gallego-Schmid, Damien Giurco, Kersty Hobson, Roope Husgafvel, Cynthia Isenhour, Mait Kriipsalu, Donato Masi, Joan Manuel F. Mendoza, Leonidas Milios, Monia Niero, Deepak Pant, Keshav Parajuly, Stefan Pauliuk, Marina Pieroni, Jessika Luth Richter, Michael Saidani, Marzena Smol, Laura Talens Peiró, Stijn van Ewijk, Walter Vermeulen, Dominik Wiedenhofer, Bing Xue, « Lessons, narratives, and research directions for a sustainable circular economy  », Journal of Industrial Ecology, décembre 2022. ISSN 1088-1980

Abstract

The current enthusiasm for the circular economy (CE) offers a unique opportunity to advance the impact of research on sustainability transitions. Diverse interpretations of CE by scholars, however, produce partly opposing assessments of its potential benefits, which can hinder progress. Here, we synthesize policy-relevant lessons and research directions for a sustainable CE and identify three narratives—optimist, reformist, and skeptical—that underpin the ambiguity in CE assessments. Based on 54 key CE scholars’ insights, we identify three research needs : the articulation and discussion of ontologically distinct CE narratives ; bridging of technical, managerial, socio-economic, environmental, and political CE perspectives ; and critical assessment of opportunities and limits of CE science–policy interactions. Our findings offer practical guidance for scholars to engage reflexively with the rapid expansion of CE knowledge, identify and pursue high-impact research directions, and communicate more effectively with practitioners and policymakers.

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