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Circular Economy and Green Innovation for Sustainable Business Development

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 January 2025 | Viewed by 121

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Accounting and Financial Economy, University of Extremadura, Spain
Interests: corporate social responsibility; circular economy; sustainable development goals; entrepreneurship; business models
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Accounting Department, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) and Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL), 1640-026 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: corporate social responsibility; IFRS sustainability; family business model

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The concept of a circular economy (CE) has been advocated for across various disciplines as a substitute for conventional linear models that rely on the extraction, production, utilization, and disposal of resources. This paradigm shift envisions the transformation of existing models towards an economy characterized by zero emissions and waste (Schaltegger et al., 2023; Llena-Macarulla et al., 2023; Ahmad, Bask, Laari, & Robinson, 2023). CE focuses on the “reduce, reuse, recycle, and regenerate” principles, aiming to minimize waste and to promote sustainability (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2015). This encompasses the adoption of novel business models, along with the integration of material loops in diverse activities and sectors within the CE framework. In the business context, it involves adopting practices that enhance resource efficiency and reduce environmental impacts (Benito-Bentué, Marco-Fondevila, & Scarpellini, 2022; Matos, Martins, Simoes, & Simoes, 2023).

Green innovation (GI) is a key and comprehensive approach that involves developing sustainable solutions and technologies to address environmental challenges and to promote sustainability. Through GI, the way we develop and use technologies is transformed to align them with the sustainable development goals while seeking environmental conservation. In the field of business, it encompasses the creation of environmentally friendly products, processes, and business models (Klewitz & Hansen, 2014) that minimize ecological footprints.

The following are included in this type of innovation: i) those aimed at achieving certain environmental objectives, such as reducing the environmental impact of human activities; creating products, services, and processes that minimize ecological footprints; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and conserving natural resources; ii) those aimed at achieving energy efficiency, such as the development of technologies that reduce energy consumption, the use of renewable energy sources, and the use of more sustainable energy systems; and iii) eco-design innovations. GI involves incorporating principles such as waste minimization and the use of sustainable materials in the new life cycles of products.

GI also aligns with the principles of CE, since it seeks to close off material cycles and to promote the reuse, recycling, and regeneration of resources to reduce dependence on virgin raw materials, minimizing the generation of waste. The synergy between CE and GI is essential for fostering sustainable business development. This entails not only compliance with environmental regulations but also proactive approaches to reduce reliance on finite resources, to promote energy efficiency, and to create environmentally friendly products and services (Rizos et al., 2016). The goal is to contribute to both ecological and economic sustainability.

In summary, the integration of CE principles and GI is pivotal for sustainable business development, addressing environmental challenges, and creating opportunities for responsible business growth.

  • Ahmad, F., Bask, A., Laari, S., & Robinson, C.V. (2023) “Business management perspectives on the circular economy: Present state and future directions”. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 187, 122182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2022.122182
  • Benito-Bentué, D., Marco-Fondevila, M., & Scarpellini, S. (2022) “Financial Institutions Facing the Challenge of the European Taxonomy of Sustainable Investments and the Circular Economy Disclosure”. UCJC Business and Society Review, 19 (73), 120–161. https://doi.org/10.3232/UBR.2022.V19.N2.03
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2015) “Towards the Circular Economy: Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition”. Disponible en: Ellen MacArthur Foundation – Publications.
  • Klewitz, J., & Hansen, E.G. (2014) “Sustainability-oriented innovation of SMEs: A systematic review”. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 57-75.
  • Llena-Macarulla, F., Moneva, J.M., Aranda-Usón, A., & Scarpellini, S. (2023) “Reporting measurements or measuring for reporting? Internal measurement of the Circular Economy from an environmental accounting approach and its relationship”. Revista de Contabilidad, 26 (2), 220-212. https://www.doi.org/10.6018/rcsar.467751
  • Matos, J., Martins, C., Simoes, C.L., & Simoes, R. (2023) “Comparative analysis of micro level indicators for evaluating the progress towards a circular economy”. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 39, 521-533. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spc.2023.06.002
  • Rizos, V., Behrens, A., & Kafyeke, T. (2016) “The Circular Economy: Barriers and Opportunities for SMEs”. CEPS Working Document No. 428. Disponible en: CEPS – Circular Economy for SMEs.
  • Schaltegger, S., Loorbach, D., & Hörisch, J. (2023) “Managing entrepreneurial and corporate contributions to sustainability transitions”. Business Strategy and the Environment, 32, 891-902. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.3080

Prof. Dr. Dolores Gallardo Vázquez
Dr. Inna Choban de Sousa Paiva
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • green innovation
  • sustainable business models
  • economic performance

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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