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.

Lessons, narratives, and research directions for a sustainable circular economy

Navarro Ferronato;
2022-01-01

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.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jiec.13346
industrial ecology, narratives, policy relevance, research agenda, science policy, sustainability
Leipold, Sina; Petit-Boix, Anna; Luo, Anran; Helander, Hanna; Simoens, Machteld; Ashton, Weslynne S.; Babbitt, Callie W.; Bala, Alba; Bening, Catharina R.; Birkved, Morten; Blomsma, Fenna; Boks, Casper; Boldrin, Alessio; Deutz, Pauline; Domenech, Teresa; Ferronato, Navarro; Gallego-Schmid, Alejandro; Giurco, Damien; Hobson, Kersty; Husgafvel, Roope; Isenhour, Cynthia; Kriipsalu, Mait; Masi, Donato; Mendoza, Joan Manuel F.; Milios, Leonidas; Niero, Monia; Pant, Deepak; Parajuly, Keshav; Pauliuk, Stefan; Pieroni, Marina P. P.; Luth Richter, Jessika; Saidani, Michael; Smol, Marzena; Talens Peiró, Laura; van Ewijk, Stijn; Vermeulen, Walter J. V.; Wiedenhofer, Dominik; Xue, Bing
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
J of Industrial Ecology - 2022 - Leipold - Lessons narratives and research directions for a sustainable circular economy.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 689.75 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
689.75 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2144671
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact