Circular economy finance: Clear winner or risky proposition?

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


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 risk that 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
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1192-1200
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 18.06.2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


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

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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