Skip to the content

Circular Wonderings is an exploration of the role of digital, software and technology in the Circular Economy. Exploration is the key word here. I write regularly, reflecting on my current thoughts and research. Expect typos, incomplete thoughts, varied rambling topics and (hopefully) a journey towards clearer understanding and insight. Subscribe here to join my journey.

Circularity for circularity's sake?

The wonderful Amsterdam based consultancy "Circle Economy" [1] recently published an excellent article entitled "Why your circular business may not be as sustainable as you think" [2].

While touching on circular washing, the article's key point came from recent research indicating that circularity does not automatically mean environmentally sustainable. Nor, perhaps even more crucially, does to automatically mean socially responsible.

The article goes on to explain the importance of the right metrics: "Sustainability is reached when the following three perspectives are considered: economic, social and environmental. Although the circular economy is a means to sustainability, circular metrics often lack the social perspective and differ in scope and focus. All these differences can lead to diverging results, creating ambiguity and discrepancies within the circular economy metrics landscape."

I enjoyed reading this article and discovering the research that is referenced [3].

There is a tension between needing to make large scale, systemic changes on the one hand, and the limits of our actions as individuals (or individual businesses). The real danger of seeing circularity itself as the goal is how alluring it looks. We might see a way to bypass the deep complexity involved in actually making those large, systemic changes.

 


[1]: https://www.circle-economy.com
[2]: https://www.circle-economy.com/blogs/why-your-circular-business-may-not-be-as-sustainable-as-you-think
[3]: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352550920305236