Circular economy finance: Clear winner or risky proposition?

Paul Dewick, Magnus Bengtsson, Maurie J. Cohen, Joseph Sarkis, Patrick Schröder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


A major shift in private and public investment is needed to forge a transition to a circular economy. A recent surge of activity from policy makers, the financial industry, and other stakeholders suggests commitment and progress toward providing resources to facilitate this process. In this forum article, we provide a measured, and in some respects critical and corrective, assessment of these developments. We highlight the riskthat progress toward a circular economy will be curtailed by strategic decisions based on contestable understanding, fuzzy indicators, and inadequate information. Before major industry actors implement international investment standards, launch innovative financing vehicles, and ramp up investment, we call for more effective oversight to prevent the circular economy from becoming yet another compromised and ultimately ineffectual sustainability concept.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1200
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences


  • circular economy
  • environment and finance
  • industrial ecology
  • socially responsible investing (SRI)
  • sustainability indicators
  • sustainable development


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