Eco-Innovations: Kick-Starting the Circular Economy


The generation of goods and services depends on the use of natural resources and generates discards throughout the productive process. The current economic model based on overproduction and overconsumption caused global warming and the growing depletion of natural resources. Deteriorating living conditions on the planet made discussions on sustainability and environment become an urgent issue. Among other actions from different agents, this context requires companies to adopt innovative ways of producing, considering the current social and environmental demands. Reviewing industrial practices is now a crucial element to disclose the areas where the innovative efforts must focus. In this sense, circular economy emerges as an alternative to the current linear approach, in which resources are used and then discarded. It is a way of (re)organising economic activities through a "resource-production-resource regeneration" feedback vector. The concept may lead to a new circular production system where there is minimal waste, since all discards would potentially serve as input for a new productive cycle. The challenge of circular economy is to develop an innovative approach to overcome the current trade-off between our model of economic development and the environmental crisis. In this context, could eco-innovations contribute to build this approach? How could the implementation of eco-innovative practices by firms change the current linear approach? The present study aims to shed light to this discussion through a literature review analysing the generation of eco-innovations to stimulate the circular economy.

Author Information
Wladmir Motta, IBICT - Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology, Brazil
Patricia Prado, University of York, United Kingdom
Liz-Rejane Issberner, IBICT - Brazilian Institute of Information on Science and Technology, Brazil

Paper Information
Conference: ECSEE2017
Stream: Environmental Sustainability & Human Consumption: Waste

This paper is part of the ECSEE2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon