But in a new special issue
of Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology
, leading researchers make the case that it is time to take the discussion and analysis to the next level.
With the concept gaining traction globally, five experts write in the lead editorial, there is a growing urgency for shared understandings, a common language, and hard examinations of the complexities and opportunities in the circular economy.
Such discussions, they write, must tackle three fundamental aspects of the circular economy: 1. the challenge of increasing the scale of circularity efforts beyond individual initiatives; 2. the magnitude of potential environmental benefits and impacts in the context of material flows, resource use, and product design; and 3. opportunities for innovative business models, institutional change, and informed policy action.
“As the circular economy gains worldwide attention and as implementation spreads, challenges and tradeoffs are emerging,” said Reid Lifset
, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology
and co-author of the editorial. “Industrial ecology is well-placed to provide insight and guidance on the environmental and resource implications of this emerging framework.”
Highlights of the 25-article issue include:
“The effort to close loops and to increase resource efficiency is a key element in the pursuit of sustainability,” said Indy Burke
, dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “This special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology
brings the technical prowess of industrial ecology tothe understanding ofthe environmental and resource dimensions ofour production and consumption systems.”
Partial support for this special issue was provided by the global consultancy, Deloitte, and the women’s clothing company, Eileen Fisher, Inc.
The Journal of Industrial Ecology
is a peer-reviewed international scientific journal owned by Yale University, headquartered at the Center for Industrial Ecology of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and published by Wiley.
Articles in the special issue are freely downloadable
for a limited time.