Paul Dewick, Professor of Sustainability and Innovation at Keele Business School

Strengthening the Financial Foundations of the Circular Economy

*Please note that this event is for Keele staff and students ONLY*

There is strong interest and momentum in the circular economy among the business and finance sectors. Indeed, a major shift in private and public investment is needed to make the transition to a circular economy the new normal. Banks, private equity funds, venture capital investors, and others in the financial industry are demonstrating increasing enthusiasm for circular business opportunities. BlackRock launched its new Circular Economy Fund in 2019, and the European Investment Bank committed to allocate €10 billion over the next 5 years to circular economy investments. These recent initiatives on circular economy finance suggest commitment and progress toward providing the needed financial resources, and represent an encouraging sign of a shift in thinking among financiers and policy makers. 

Whilst it is important to promote the circular economy as a solution to the worsening environmental crisis, as academics we need to take a step back and look at it from a critical perspective. There is a risk that the circular economy and its principles will get co-opted, and circular economy finance used for ‘greenwashing’. The absence of consistent and coherent quality information makes it difficult for prospective funders and investors to evaluate the impact of circular economy projects and companies. We need to point out where the gaps are to ensure policy makers, investors and businesses get it right. In this seminar Professor Paul Dewick will reflect on a number of practical measures to strengthen the financial foundations of the circular economy, to ensure that circular economy investment does not go to suboptimal circular economy projects and companies.
Speaker: Paul Dewick is Professor of Sustainability and Innovation at Keele Business School, Keele University. He is a member of the Steering Committee of Future Earth Knowledge Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (KANSSCP) and co-leads the KANSSCP Circular Economy Working Group.

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