Towards circularity and beyond: exploring the future of sustainable business through experimentation

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Businesses are striving for infinite growth but operate in a world with finite resources. Unsustainable linear business models lead to products that cannot easily be upgraded or recycled and are thrown away after a limited number of uses. This has led to numerous environmental and social issues, such as climate change, biodiversity loss and waste. In contrast, through circular business models, products are kept in use for a long time, material and energy use are reduced, natural resources used by the business are regenerated, renewable energy is used, and materials are recycled in the end-of-life phase. The problem is that business activity towards the circular economy is still nascent, while the most pressing global issues need a quicker and more profound response. To speed up the transition, we need significant experimentation to develop circular innovations that are desirable, feasible, viable, and truly sustainable. For a more profound transition, the circular economy also needs “less and more”: sufficiency focused on consuming less, and regeneration to increase the positive impact of business on the natural environment.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherMaastricht University
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022

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