Circular Economy – Sustainable Economic Development

The unsustainable resource consumption of the linear economy makes the transition to the circular economy more urgent every day. IN ADDITION to resource conservation, the transition to circular economy principles will create more jobs, higher living standards and quality of life in developing and emerging countries. Today’s information technologies enable new business models that were unimaginable 10-15 years ago. And population growth forces the acceleration of economic development.

Think tanks such as Chatham House have already presented very good initial analyzes on “Circular Economy for Sustainable Development”, which must be supplemented with practical examples from policy advice and concrete implementations in developing and emerging countries. The German Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) or the European Investment Bank (EIB) are already facing the challenges of a circular economy for the financial sector.

State-run international development cooperation, which is financed primarily by the BMZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, is faced with the task of promoting the way out of the linear economy. Here, new approaches and approaches to cooperation with the international economy would be needed to advise the economic, industrial, energy and agricultural policies of partner countries with the aim of building a modern circular economy. So far, however, the “circular economy” is unfortunately still too focused on waste management, as shown by the very useful Prevent Waste Alliance (see our field of work “Reducing the input of plastic into the environment”).

The BMU (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety) sees opportunities in the circular economy for Germany, but is only very limited in international bilateral cooperation on environmental and economic issues. Here are opportunities in multilateral forums to promote the circular economy.

The BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) rightly sees its tasks in German economic policy and not in the transfer of knowledge and experience in cooperation with developing and emerging countries. Unfortunately, there are no signs yet that a roadmap like that in Finland is being sought for the German economy and society.

Using international networks, we advise interested companies, institutions, foundations and impact investors on the conditions under which they can use the circular economy principles to establish profitable businesses with high social impact and make them sustainable.