April 3, 2020

The ‘circular bioeconomy’ may be a promising pathway to achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals.


The circular bioeconomy is a promising pathway to sustainable development. It is also being touted as a mechanism to promote private sector competitiveness: why ?

Jennifer DeBoer, Rajat Panwar, Robert Kozak, Benjamin Cashore,
“Squaring the circle: Refining the competitiveness logic for the circular bioeconomy”,
Forest Policy and Economics, Volume 110, 2020,
101858, ISSN 1389-9341,

Sustainable products and new business models

The participation of private firm is critical for successful implementation of circular bioeconomy initiatives, which is often sought through a competitiveness logic. Many propose the circular bioeconomy will enhance firm competitiveness through the identification of new markets, the development of more sustainable products and processes, and the creation of new business models.
The aim of Jennifer DeBoera et al. in this paper is to stimulate a debate about how to carefully articulate the proposed link between the circular bioeconomy and firm competitiveness.

They first conduct an interdisciplinary, systematic review of literature to examine the link between environmental sustainability initiatives and firm competitiveness. They draw several key lessons from this literature that must be considered in order to refine and strengthen the competitiveness logic within a circular bioeconomy context. In particular, they suggest construct clarity, methodological sophistication, ubiquity of bioeconomy adoption by private firms, and a clear vision of means and ends as four key considerations in fine-tuning and further articulating a competitiveness logic.



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