Authors: Walter R Stahel
Date of publish: March 2016
Why did we select this research?
Circular economy business models fall in two groups: those that foster reuse and extend service life through repair, remanufacture, upgrades and retrofits; and those that turn old goods into as-new resources by recycling the materials.
- Research and innovation are needed at all levels (social, technological and commercial). Economists and environmental and materials scientists need to assess the ecological impacts and costs and benefits of products.
- Communication and information strategies are needed to raise the awareness of manufacturers and the public about their responsibility for products throughout their service lives.
- Role of policy and policymakers preparing the new playground rules (like internalization of external costs, such as emissions and pollution, should be rewarded; stewardship should overrule ownership and its right to destroy).
- The role of internet and The Internet of Things (in which everyday objects are digitally connected) and Industry 4.0 (intelligent technical systems for mass production) will boost such a shift, but also demand a policy review that considers questions of ownership and liability of data and goods.
Stahel, W. R. (2016). The circular economy. Nature News, 531(7595), 435.