CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Aparna Sardar

 

  1. ABSTRACT

 

In a Linear Process of Manufacturing Raw Material Today’s World, Raw materials are taken from the environment , turned into raw products and disposed after use. But the process will eventually result in running out of limited raw resources and accumulation of waste which will again lead to Pollution and Additional cost of Disposal.

But Circular Economy products are designed in such a way, that they are enough durable, reusable and recyclable to withstand longer period of time compared to now. The product lifecycle has to be longer so that there is less disposal maximising output and minimizing input. India by focusing on circular economy can build more resource efficient system and grow with new heights. While the terms Circular Economy and sustainability are increasingly gaining traction with academia, industry, and policymakers, the similarities and differences between both concepts remain ambiguous. The relationship between the concepts is not made explicit in literature, which is blurring their conceptual contours and constrains the efficacy of using the approaches in research and practice. This research addresses this gap and aims to provide conceptual clarity by distinguishing the terms and synthesising the different types of relationships between them. We conducted an extensive literature review, employing bibliometric analysis and snowballing techniques to investigate the state of the art in the field and synthesise the similarities, differences and relationships between both terms. We identified eight different relationship types in the literature and illustrated the most evident similarities and differences between both concepts.

 

Keywords: Circular Economy; Sustainability; Sustainable Development; Closed loop; Literature Review; Circular Business Model.

 

2. INTRODUCTION

 

Natural resources are being exploited extensively in today’s world. After remaining so many years under the earth ,Fossils are developed. But according to reports ,the rate in which we are using up the fuels , we have fuel left for hardly 40 years . After this time period no fuel will be left anymore.

Hence Several Big companies nowadays are shifting to circular economy from Linear economy.Though this idea of circular economy is similar to the process of Recycling but not the same

. In Recycling ,there is a need for expensive instrument, and in India we have very less such Instrument , though several organisations are taking initiative to increase such instrument Installation. But in Circular Economy The products are designed for durability , Reuse and Recyclability for longer life time span.

 

Environmental problems, such as biodiversity loss, water, air, and soil pollution, resource depletion, and excessive land use are increasingly jeopardising the earth’s life-support systems. Societal expectations are not met due to issues such as high unemployment, poor working conditions, social vulnerability, the poverty trap, inter- and intragenerational equity, and widening inequalities. Economic challenges, such as supply risk, problematic ownership structures, deregulated markets, and flawed incentive structures lead to increasingly frequent financial and economic instabilities for individual companies and entire economies. To address these and other sustainability issues, the concept of the Circular Economy – while not entirely new – has recently gained importance on the agendas of policymakers. The Circular Economy has also become an important field of academic research with a steep increase in the number of articles and journals covering this topic during the last decade. Companies are also increasingly aware of the opportunities promised by the Circular Economy and have started to realise its value potential for themselves and their stakeholders

 

2.     BACKGROUND

This section provides a short introduction to the two main concepts addressed in this research, sustainability and the Circular Economy. Starting with the former and concluding with the latter, this paper briefly introduces the historical origins of the concepts, compares and synthesises the selected definitions, and discusses the notions’ relevance

 

3.     OBJECTIVE

The Aim for circular economy can be seen similar as sustainability + Productivity . The sustainable goals focuses on improving environmental performances of countries

,companies and individual Processes. Circular economy focuses on sustainable uses of

 

Raw Material to make it available for next Generation and formulate a Sustainable Design for longer life span of product, leading to growth of country.

In contrast with Linear economy , which is based on ‘Take’, ‘Make’ , ‘Dispose’ Model of production , Circular economy Follows ‘Minimum use of Resource’ , ‘Minimum waste’, ‘Minimum emission’, and ‘Minimum energy likeage’.

Circular Economy has 6R – ‘Recycle’ , ‘Reuse’ ,’Reduce’ ,’Recover’ ,’Redesign’ and ‘Remanufacture’

Circular Economy Works on principle of preservation and enhancement of natural capital bybalancing renewable resources and flows.

 

 

3.1            SUSTAINABILITY

The term sustainability itself originates in the French verb soutenir, “to hold up or support. and its modern conception has its origins in forestry. It is based on the silvicultural principle that the amount of wood harvested should not exceed the volume that grows again. This conceptualisation was written down already in the early 18th century in “Sylvicultura oeconomica”. and there seem to be even older sources that follow the underlying principles in face of shortages in wood supply and the husbandry of cooperative system.

The concept’s uptake can be traced back to the increasing evidence on globalscale environmental risks, such as ozone depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss or the alteration of the nitrogen cycle. These risks have been systematically investigated since the 1960s, raising questions about whether present prosperity trends can be maintained in the future and, consequently, revealing many sources of tensions. This includes, for example, the limited store of resources, its uneven geographical distribution and appropriation and the implications of the assimilative capacities of ecosystems over economic growth

Sustainability has been institutionalised into the agendas of policymakers and strategies of large organisations, becoming cumulatively more embedded into the rules that structure social interventions and shape behaviour. While incorporating a broad range of contradictions and being ambiguously instrumentalised by diverse interest groups, the concept proves to be a “political concept as persistent as are democracy, justice and liberty”

 

 

3.2         CIRCULAR ECONOMY

 

The concept of the Circular Economy has been gaining momentum since the late 1970s .

 

The earth can be desicribed a closed and circular system with limited assimilative capacity, and inferred from this that the economy and the environment should coexist in equilibrium. Stahel and Reday (1976) introduced certain features of the Circular Economy, with a focus on industrial economics. They conceptualised a loop economy to describe industrial strategies for waste prevention, regional job creation, resource efficiency, and dematerialisation of the industrial economy. Stahel (1982) also emphasised selling utilisation instead of ownership of goods as the most relevant sustainable business model for a loop economy, allowing industries to profit without externalising costs and risks associated with waste.

The contemporary understanding of the Circular Economy and its practical applications to economic systems and industrial processes has evolved to incorporate different features and contributions from a variety of concepts that share the idea of closed loops.

Hence Circular Economy can be defined as ‘the Circular Economy as a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling.’

The concept has also gained traction with policymakers, influencing governments and intergovernmental agencies at the local, regional, national, and international level.

 

 

4.   METHODOLOGY

The previous sections summarised the history, definition, and relevance of sustainability and the Circular Economy. Both concepts are essentially global in their nature, sharing

concerns with the current state of technology, industrial production, and consumption, stressing the importance of better integrating environmental and social aspects with economic progress, and set system-level changes at their very core. Although both concepts are being adopted by a growing number of academics and practitioners, the relationship between both notions has not been studied extensively, and the similarities and differences between them remain underexplored. Knowledge about their relationship, similarities, and differences is relevant for conceptual clarity, as well as to reveal the interests and goals behind the use of these terms by policymakers and companies. Therefore, this research can assist efforts aiming at integrating these concepts to better promote social inclusion, environmental resilience, and economic prosperity.

 

To investigate the research gap, the following research questions were formulated:

 

RQ 1: What are the main conceptual similarities and differences between sustainability and the Circular Economy?

According to the Data collected from Web of Science website that was published in in January 2016 by searching with the strings “circular economy”, sustainability and “circular economy” AND sustainability, as shown in Table 1

The Circular Economy is a recent research topic, we observed the importance of analysing its emergence and progress before analysing its relationship with literature on sustainability. Therefore, for the records on the Circular Economy, It is needed to uncover and quantitatively describe our dataset.

 

 

Table shows a steep increase in the number of publications on the Circular Economy, reaching a more than tenfold growth in the last 10 years. Nevertheless, the absolute number of publications on the Circular Economy is small when compared to publications on sustainability . This finding suggests that research on the Circular Economy may be far from saturated, and there is great room for improvement in terms of conceptual development and cross-fertilisation from other research fields.

 

4.1. SIMILARITY AND DIFFRENCES

Both notions emphasise intra- and intergenerational commitments motivated by environmental hazards and signal the importance of increasing agency and public deliberation upon the multiple and coexisting pathways for development. They also share an essentially global perspective, emphasising problems on a planetary scale that lead to shared responsibilities and to the relevance of coordination between multiple agents. Both concepts frequently employ multi- or interdisciplinary approaches to better integrate non-economic aspects into development, which often conclude that system design and innovations are the main drivers for reaching their ambitions. They also describe not only potential costs and risks, but also the importance of diversification in taking advantage of distinct opportunities for value creation. Both concepts view cooperation between stakeholders not only as desirable, but as imperative to reach their expectations. To guide and align stakeholder behaviour, both concepts rely heavily on regulation and increasingly on the deliberate design of incentive structures. Private business plays a central role among relevant stakeholders because it commands more capabilities and resources than any other actor. Since the implementation of more sustainable solutions seems to lag behind expectations and technological capabilities and advances in material and production technology are becoming ever more incremental, authors increasingly see business model innovation as the key pathway to the necessary socio-technical transitions .

Furthermore, there are different goals associated with the Circular Economy and sustainability in the literature. While it seems clear to most authors that the Circular Economy is aiming at a closed loop, eliminating all resource inputs and waste and emission leakages of the system, the goals of sustainability are open-ended and different authors address a considerable multitude of goals, which also shift depending on the considered agents and their interests. This is also reflected in the main motivation underlying each concept. The motives behind sustainability are based on past trajectories, are diffused and diverse, and often embrace reflexivity and adaptivity to different contexts. In contrast, the Circular Economy is mainly motivated by the observation that resources could be better used and waste and emissions reduced with circular rather than linear make-use-dispose systems.

It thus work by increasing the lifespan of the product through Improved Design and servicing and relocating waste from the end of the supply chain to the beginning, – By using Resources more efficiently by using them again and again.

In fact, sustainability aims at benefiting the environment, the economy, and society at large while the main beneficiaries of the Circular Economy appear to be the economic actors that implement the system. The environment is also seen to benefit through less resource depletion and pollution, and society benefits from the environmental improvements and

 

certain add-ons and assumptions, like more manual labour or fairer taxation. Different underlying motivations also lead to different systems being prioritised in the literature. The Circular Economy clearly seems to prioritise the economic systems with primary benefits for the environment, and only implicit gains for social aspects. Sustainability was originally conceptualised as holistically treating all three dimensions as equal and balanced,

Finally, the perception of responsibilities is also clearly distinct between both concepts. In the sustainability debate, responsibilities are shared, but not clearly defined, while the literature considers that the responsibility for the transition to a circular system lies primarily with private business, regulators, and policymakers. Moreover, the commitments, goals, and interests behind the use of the terms differ greatly. The focus seems to be on interest alignment between stakeholders for sustainability, whereas the Circular Economy prioritises financial advantages for companies, and less resource consumption and pollution for the environment

 

 

 

5.  CONCLUSION

First, based on key literature, we define the Circular Economy as a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling. Second, we define sustainability as the balanced integration of economic performance, social inclusiveness, and environmental resilience, to the benefit of current and future generations. We found that the Circular Economy is an emerging topic that has attracted increasing research interest. While the roots of the topic are European, much of this recent surge started with Chinese authors after the implementation of regulatory controls in this country. Chinese and European scholars have in particular have taken up this topic and there is an exponential growth in publications. This could reflect the increased interest from companies and policymakers in these regions India is moving towards circular economy ,we only need to speed up the process for sustainable growth. In India , huge wastes in the form of Solid waste

, Hazardous waste , Biomedical Waste , Textile Waste , Electronic Waste etc is being dumped in the country. Hence we have a huge potential to reuse and recycle products. This need good policy framework which will expedite the whole process of circular economy . Circular economy is going to be beneficial for all – consumers ,manufacturers ,entrepreneurs , climate and overall environment.

 

 

 

CIRCULAR ECONOMY

APARNA SARDAR

 

 

  1. ABSTRACT

 

In a Linear Process of Manufacturing Raw Material Today’s World, Raw materials are taken from the environment , turned into raw products and disposed after use. But the process will eventually result in running out of limited raw resources and accumulation of waste which will again lead to Pollution and Additional cost of Disposal.

But Circular Economy products are designed in such a way, that they are enough durable, reusable and recyclable to withstand longer period of time compared to now. The product lifecycle has to be longer so that there is less disposal maximising output and minimizing input. India by focusing on circular economy can build more resource efficient system and grow with new heights. While the terms Circular Economy and sustainability are increasingly gaining traction with academia, industry, and policymakers, the similarities and differences between both concepts remain ambiguous. The relationship between the concepts is not made explicit in literature, which is blurring their conceptual contours and constrains the efficacy of using the approaches in research and practice. This research addresses this gap and aims to provide conceptual clarity by distinguishing the terms and synthesising the different types of relationships between them. We conducted an extensive literature review, employing bibliometric analysis and snowballing techniques to investigate the state of the art in the field and synthesise the similarities, differences and relationships between both terms. We identified eight different relationship types in the literature and illustrated the most evident similarities and differences between both concepts.

 

Keywords: Circular Economy; Sustainability; Sustainable Development; Closed loop; Literature Review; Circular Business Model.

 

2. INTRODUCTION

 

Natural resources are being exploited extensively in today’s world. After remaining so many years under the earth ,Fossils are developed. But according to reports ,the rate in which we are using up the fuels , we have fuel left for hardly 40 years . After this time period no fuel will be left anymore.

Hence Several Big companies nowadays are shifting to circular economy from Linear economy.Though this idea of circular economy is similar to the process of Recycling but not the same

. In Recycling ,there is a need for expensive instrument, and in India we have very less such Instrument , though several organisations are taking initiative to increase such instrument Installation. But in Circular Economy The products are designed for durability , Reuse and Recyclability for longer life time span.

 

Environmental problems, such as biodiversity loss, water, air, and soil pollution, resource depletion, and excessive land use are increasingly jeopardising the earth’s life-support systems. Societal expectations are not met due to issues such as high unemployment, poor working conditions, social vulnerability, the poverty trap, inter- and intragenerational equity, and widening inequalities. Economic challenges, such as supply risk, problematic ownership structures, deregulated markets, and flawed incentive structures lead to increasingly frequent financial and economic instabilities for individual companies and entire economies. To address these and other sustainability issues, the concept of the Circular Economy – while not entirely new – has recently gained importance on the agendas of policymakers. The Circular Economy has also become an important field of academic research with a steep increase in the number of articles and journals covering this topic during the last decade. Companies are also increasingly aware of the opportunities promised by the Circular Economy and have started to realise its value potential for themselves and their stakeholders

 

2.     BACKGROUND

This section provides a short introduction to the two main concepts addressed in this research, sustainability and the Circular Economy. Starting with the former and concluding with the latter, this paper briefly introduces the historical origins of the concepts, compares and synthesises the selected definitions, and discusses the notions’ relevance

 

3.     OBJECTIVE

The Aim for circular economy can be seen similar as sustainability + Productivity . The sustainable goals focuses on improving environmental performances of countries

,companies and individual Processes. Circular economy focuses on sustainable uses of

 

Raw Material to make it available for next Generation and formulate a Sustainable Design for longer life span of product, leading to growth of country.

In contrast with Linear economy , which is based on ‘Take’, ‘Make’ , ‘Dispose’ Model of production , Circular economy Follows ‘Minimum use of Resource’ , ‘Minimum waste’, ‘Minimum emission’, and ‘Minimum energy likeage’.

Circular Economy has 6R – ‘Recycle’ , ‘Reuse’ ,’Reduce’ ,’Recover’ ,’Redesign’ and ‘Remanufacture’

Circular Economy Works on principle of preservation and enhancement of natural capital bybalancing renewable resources and flows.

 

 

3.1            SUSTAINABILITY

The term sustainability itself originates in the French verb soutenir, “to hold up or support. and its modern conception has its origins in forestry. It is based on the silvicultural principle that the amount of wood harvested should not exceed the volume that grows again. This conceptualisation was written down already in the early 18th century in “Sylvicultura oeconomica”. and there seem to be even older sources that follow the underlying principles in face of shortages in wood supply and the husbandry of cooperative system.

The concept’s uptake can be traced back to the increasing evidence on globalscale environmental risks, such as ozone depletion, climate change, biodiversity loss or the alteration of the nitrogen cycle. These risks have been systematically investigated since the 1960s, raising questions about whether present prosperity trends can be maintained in the future and, consequently, revealing many sources of tensions. This includes, for example, the limited store of resources, its uneven geographical distribution and appropriation and the implications of the assimilative capacities of ecosystems over economic growth

Sustainability has been institutionalised into the agendas of policymakers and strategies of large organisations, becoming cumulatively more embedded into the rules that structure social interventions and shape behaviour. While incorporating a broad range of contradictions and being ambiguously instrumentalised by diverse interest groups, the concept proves to be a “political concept as persistent as are democracy, justice and liberty”

 

 

3.2         CIRCULAR ECONOMY

 

The concept of the Circular Economy has been gaining momentum since the late 1970s .

 

The earth can be desicribed a closed and circular system with limited assimilative capacity, and inferred from this that the economy and the environment should coexist in equilibrium. Stahel and Reday (1976) introduced certain features of the Circular Economy, with a focus on industrial economics. They conceptualised a loop economy to describe industrial strategies for waste prevention, regional job creation, resource efficiency, and dematerialisation of the industrial economy. Stahel (1982) also emphasised selling utilisation instead of ownership of goods as the most relevant sustainable business model for a loop economy, allowing industries to profit without externalising costs and risks associated with waste.

The contemporary understanding of the Circular Economy and its practical applications to economic systems and industrial processes has evolved to incorporate different features and contributions from a variety of concepts that share the idea of closed loops.

Hence Circular Economy can be defined as ‘the Circular Economy as a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling.’

The concept has also gained traction with policymakers, influencing governments and intergovernmental agencies at the local, regional, national, and international level.

 

 

4.   METHODOLOGY

The previous sections summarised the history, definition, and relevance of sustainability and the Circular Economy. Both concepts are essentially global in their nature, sharing

concerns with the current state of technology, industrial production, and consumption, stressing the importance of better integrating environmental and social aspects with economic progress, and set system-level changes at their very core. Although both concepts are being adopted by a growing number of academics and practitioners, the relationship between both notions has not been studied extensively, and the similarities and differences between them remain underexplored. Knowledge about their relationship, similarities, and differences is relevant for conceptual clarity, as well as to reveal the interests and goals behind the use of these terms by policymakers and companies. Therefore, this research can assist efforts aiming at integrating these concepts to better promote social inclusion, environmental resilience, and economic prosperity.

 

To investigate the research gap, the following research questions were formulated:

 

RQ 1: What are the main conceptual similarities and differences between sustainability and the Circular Economy?

According to the Data collected from Web of Science website that was published in in January 2016 by searching with the strings “circular economy”, sustainability and “circular economy” AND sustainability, as shown in Table 1

The Circular Economy is a recent research topic, we observed the importance of analysing its emergence and progress before analysing its relationship with literature on sustainability. Therefore, for the records on the Circular Economy, It is needed to uncover and quantitatively describe our dataset.

 

 

Table shows a steep increase in the number of publications on the Circular Economy, reaching a more than tenfold growth in the last 10 years. Nevertheless, the absolute number of publications on the Circular Economy is small when compared to publications on sustainability . This finding suggests that research on the Circular Economy may be far from saturated, and there is great room for improvement in terms of conceptual development and cross-fertilisation from other research fields.

 

4.1. SIMILARITY AND DIFFRENCES

Both notions emphasise intra- and intergenerational commitments motivated by environmental hazards and signal the importance of increasing agency and public deliberation upon the multiple and coexisting pathways for development. They also share an essentially global perspective, emphasising problems on a planetary scale that lead to shared responsibilities and to the relevance of coordination between multiple agents. Both concepts frequently employ multi- or interdisciplinary approaches to better integrate non-economic aspects into development, which often conclude that system design and innovations are the main drivers for reaching their ambitions. They also describe not only potential costs and risks, but also the importance of diversification in taking advantage of distinct opportunities for value creation. Both concepts view cooperation between stakeholders not only as desirable, but as imperative to reach their expectations. To guide and align stakeholder behaviour, both concepts rely heavily on regulation and increasingly on the deliberate design of incentive structures. Private business plays a central role among relevant stakeholders because it commands more capabilities and resources than any other actor. Since the implementation of more sustainable solutions seems to lag behind expectations and technological capabilities and advances in material and production technology are becoming ever more incremental, authors increasingly see business model innovation as the key pathway to the necessary socio-technical transitions .

Furthermore, there are different goals associated with the Circular Economy and sustainability in the literature. While it seems clear to most authors that the Circular Economy is aiming at a closed loop, eliminating all resource inputs and waste and emission leakages of the system, the goals of sustainability are open-ended and different authors address a considerable multitude of goals, which also shift depending on the considered agents and their interests. This is also reflected in the main motivation underlying each concept. The motives behind sustainability are based on past trajectories, are diffused and diverse, and often embrace reflexivity and adaptivity to different contexts. In contrast, the Circular Economy is mainly motivated by the observation that resources could be better used and waste and emissions reduced with circular rather than linear make-use-dispose systems.

It thus work by increasing the lifespan of the product through Improved Design and servicing and relocating waste from the end of the supply chain to the beginning, – By using Resources more efficiently by using them again and again.

In fact, sustainability aims at benefiting the environment, the economy, and society at large while the main beneficiaries of the Circular Economy appear to be the economic actors that implement the system. The environment is also seen to benefit through less resource depletion and pollution, and society benefits from the environmental improvements and

 

certain add-ons and assumptions, like more manual labour or fairer taxation. Different underlying motivations also lead to different systems being prioritised in the literature. The Circular Economy clearly seems to prioritise the economic systems with primary benefits for the environment, and only implicit gains for social aspects. Sustainability was originally conceptualised as holistically treating all three dimensions as equal and balanced,

Finally, the perception of responsibilities is also clearly distinct between both concepts. In the sustainability debate, responsibilities are shared, but not clearly defined, while the literature considers that the responsibility for the transition to a circular system lies primarily with private business, regulators, and policymakers. Moreover, the commitments, goals, and interests behind the use of the terms differ greatly. The focus seems to be on interest alignment between stakeholders for sustainability, whereas the Circular Economy prioritises financial advantages for companies, and less resource consumption and pollution for the environment

 

 

 

5.  CONCLUSION

First, based on key literature, we define the Circular Economy as a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimised by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops. This can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling. Second, we define sustainability as the balanced integration of economic performance, social inclusiveness, and environmental resilience, to the benefit of current and future generations. We found that the Circular Economy is an emerging topic that has attracted increasing research interest. While the roots of the topic are European, much of this recent surge started with Chinese authors after the implementation of regulatory controls in this country. Chinese and European scholars have in particular have taken up this topic and there is an exponential growth in publications. This could reflect the increased interest from companies and policymakers in these regions India is moving towards circular economy ,we only need to speed up the process for sustainable growth. In India , huge wastes in the form of Solid waste

, Hazardous waste , Biomedical Waste , Textile Waste , Electronic Waste etc is being dumped in the country. Hence we have a huge potential to reuse and recycle products. This need good policy framework which will expedite the whole process of circular economy . Circular economy is going to be beneficial for all – consumers ,manufacturers ,entrepreneurs , climate and overall environment.