Ten books on the Circular Economy you can't miss (Part 2)!

A circular economy is an economic system based on regenerating natural resources and systems and eliminating waste and pollution. Where and how can we start? We had released an early article " Ten Books on the Circular Economy you can't miss" and we got an overwhelming response and many of you suggested even more books! So here are 10 more books that will help you dive into this regenerative process.

The “Doughnut”: The green ring represents a sweet-spot where our socio-economic systems should be placed, such that they respect (external) planetary boundaries, and fulfil (internal) societal needs.

1. The Waste-Free World

Authors: Ron Gonen As the founder of an investment firm focused on the circular economy, Gonen reveals brilliant innovations emerging worldwide— “smart” packaging, robotics that optimize recycling, nutrient-rich fabrics, technologies that convert food waste into energy for your home, and many more. Drawing on his experience in technology, business, and city government and interviews with leading entrepreneurs and top companies, he introduces a vital and growing movement. The Waste-Free World invites us all to take part in a sustainable and prosperous future where companies foster innovation, investors recognize long term value creation, and consumers can align their values with the products they buy.

2. Meaningful Stuff: Design That Lasts

Author: Jonathan Chapman

Obsolescence is an economically driven design decision--a plan to hasten a product's functional or psychological undesirability. Many electronic devices, for example, are intentionally impossible to dismantle for repair or recycling, their brief use-career proceeding inexorably to a landfill. A sustainable design specialist who serves as a consultant to global businesses and governmental organizations, Chapman calls for the decoupling of economic activity from mindless material consumption and shows how to do it. Chapman shares his vision for an "experience heavy, material light" design sensibility. This vital and timely new design philosophy reveals how meaning emerges from designed encounters between people and things, explores ways to increase the quality and longevity of our relationships with objects and the systems behind them, and ultimately demonstrates why design can--and must--lead the transition to a sustainable future.


3. Activate the circular economy: The book to reconcile business and nature

Authors: Brieuc Saffré and Nicolas Buttin Whether it is from an economic, social, environmental or even a public health point of view, waste is everywhere. It is at the juncture of most of today’s ills: pollution, climate change, the rarefaction of resources and of biodiversity, and negative impacts on our health. It is these same observations and aberrations which encourage us on a daily basis to think and to act differently in order to accompany a thorough change in mindset and in the social model.


4. Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist

Authors: Kate Raworth

Unforeseen financial crises. Extreme wealth inequality. Relentless pressure on the environment. Can we go on like this? Is there an alternative? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth lays out the seven deadly mistakes of economics and offers a radical re-envisioning of the system that has brought us to the point of ruin. Moving beyond the myths of ‘rational economic man’ and unlimited growth, Doughnut Economics zeroes in on the sweet spot: a system that meets all our needs without exhausting the planet.


5. Organizing for Sustainability: A Guide to Developing New Business Models

Authors: Jan Jonker and Niels Faber

The book offers students and entrepreneurs a structured approach based on the Business Model Template (BMT). It consists of three stages and ten building blocks to facilitate the development of a business model. Users, be they students or practitioners, need to choose from one of the three offered business model archetypes, namely the platform, community, or circular business models. Each archetype offers a dedicated logic for value creation. The book can be used to develop a business model from scratch (turning an idea into a working prototype) or to transform an existing business model into one of the three archetypes.

6. Prosperity without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow

Authors: Tim Jackson

originally released as a report by the Sustainable Development Commission. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission's nine-year history when it was published in 2009. The report was later that year reworked and published as a book by Earthscan. Jackson demonstrates that building a ‘post-growth economy is a precise, definable and meaningful task. Starting from clear first principles, he sets out the dimensions of that task: the nature of enterprise; the quality of our working lives; the structure of investment; and the role of the money supply. He shows how the economy of tomorrow may be transformed in ways that protect employment, facilitate social investment, reduce inequality and deliver both ecological and financial stability.


7. Natural Resource Management and the Circular Economy

Authors: Robert Brears

This book provides insight into how governments are using a variety of innovative fiscal and non-fiscal instruments to develop circular economies with significant economic and environmental benefits. It emphasises the urgent need for these circular economies and to move away from our current, linear model that has led to environmental degradation, volatility of resource prices and supply risks from uneven distribution of natural resources. Through a series of case studies, it details the various innovative policy instruments which can be utilised, including regulations; market-based instruments; incentives; research and innovation support; information exchanges; and support for voluntary approaches. The book also proposes a series of best practices for different countries, both developed and developing, who are implementing their circular economy.


8. A New Dynamic: Effective Business in a Circular Economy

Author: Amory Lovins & Michael Braungart

A New Dynamic makes the contemporary case for a profound shift from throughput to ’roundput’, from ownership to access. The circular economy is enabled by disruptive information technology and the design of materials and products to flow in effective cycles and at high quality – ‘made to be made again'. The size of the prize is in the billions of dollars of materials cost savings per year. A New Dynamic features some of the leading writers and practitioners in the field including Walter Stahel, Michael Braungart, Amory Lovins and Chris Tuppen. The volume contains contributions on understanding the model, business case studies, the performance economy, history and development and the entrepreneurial opportunities of these fluid times


9. Biomimicry and Business: How Companies Are Using Nature's Strategies to Succeed

Authors: Margo Farnsworth

Biomimicry, the practice of observing then mimicking nature’s strategies to solve business challenges, offers a path to healthy profit while working in partnership, and even reciprocity, with the natural world. Other books have described biomimicry, its uses, and its benefits. This book is the first to show readers how they can successfully bring biomimicry and bioinspired design into their companies based on what other businesses have already achieved. Fashioned through storytelling, this book blends snapshots of five successful companies – Nike, Interface, Inc., PAX Scientific, Sharklet Technologies, and Encycle – which decided to partner with nature by deploying biomimicry. The book details how they discovered the practices, introduced them to staff, engaged in the process, and measured outcomes. The book concludes with challenges for readers to determine their own next steps in business and offers practical and useful resources to get there.


10. Circular Economy: Challenges and Opportunities for Ethical and Sustainable Business

Author: Helen Kopnina, Kim Poldner

The authors reflect on why conventional sustainability models – such as the ‘triple P’ (People, Profit and Planet) or eco-efficiency – have failed in addressing environmental challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. They then move on to explore innovative circular business models, which propose to eliminate environmental damage by radically reforming the system of industrial production. Organizing the transition is a collaborative effort: entrepreneurs, consumers, policymakers, multinationals and intermediaries need to work together to foster the emergence of the circular economy as an institutional field. Together with younger generations of learners and equipped with beyond-human-centred values towards awareness of the material and natural world, novel circular futures can be imagined.


About the Author

Piyush Dhawan (LinkedIn) is the co-founder of the Circular Collective was awarded the prestigious German Chancellor Fellowship last year to work on the topic of Circular Economy. He has for the past decade been working with Bilaterals and Multilaterals on a range of topics including business and biodiversity, Vision 2030 SDGs and Future of Indian Cities




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