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Circulation economics ‐ a turn towards sustainability

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Purpose ‐ This paper is an attempt to advance the critical discussion regarding environmental and societal responsibility in economics and business. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper presents and discusses as a holistic, organic perspective enabling innovative solutions to challenges concerning the responsible and efficient use of natural resources and the constructive interplay with culture. To reach the goal of sustainable development, the paper argues that it is necessary to make changes in several dimensions in mainstream economics. This change of perspective is called a turn towards sustainability. To illustrate the theoretical discussion, the paper gives some practical examples from the reprocessing industry in Norway. Findings ‐ The paper finds, first, effective and efficient use of natural resources is necessary to implement circular value chains. Second, sustainable development presupposes a perspective integrating economic, natural and cultural values. Third, to organize the interplay between all stakeholders we introduce an arena for communicative cooperation. Originality/value ‐ The paper concludes that circulation economics presupposes a change in paradigm, from a mechanistic to an organic world view.
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Keywords: Economics; Norway; Sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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