Tag Archives: Circular Economy

Special Offer > Get 20% off this Springer business textbook on Corporate Social Responsibility

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*This offer is valid from 1st April to 1st May 2017.

This business text-book can be purchased from Springer or Amazon.

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About Mark Anthony Camilleri, the Author of Springer’s Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management

The University of Malta’s promising academic, Dr Mark Anthony CAMILLERI lectures in an international masters programme run by the University of Malta in collaboration with King’s College, University of London. Mark specialises in strategic management, marketing, research and evaluation. He successfully finalised his PhD (Management) in three years time at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland – where he was also nominated for his “Excellence in Teaching”. During the past years, Mark taught business subjects at under-graduate, vocational and post-graduate levels in Hong Kong, Malta and the UK.

Dr Camilleri has published his research in reputable peer-reviewed journals. He is a member on the editorial board of Springer’s International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inderscience’s International Journal of Responsible Management in Emerging Economies. He is a frequent speaker and reviewer at the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Marketing & Public Policy conference, in the Academy of International Business (AIB) and in the Academy of Management’s (AoM) annual gatherings. Mark is also a member of the academic advisory committee in the Global Corporate Governance Institute (USA).

Dr Camilleri’s first book, entitled; “Creating Shared Value through Strategic CSR in Tourism” (2013) was published in Germany. This year Springer will publish his latest book; “Corporate Sustainability, Social Responsibility and Environmental Management: An Introduction to Theory and Practice with Case Studies” (2017). Moreover, he edited a U.S. publication, entitled; “CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship” (2017). His short contributions are often featured in popular media outlets such as the Times of Malta, Business2Community, Social Media Today, Triple Pundit, CSRwire and the Shared Value Initiative.

Mark’s professional experience spans from project management, strategic management, business planning (including market research), management information systems (MIS), customer relationship and database marketing to public relations, marketing communications, branding and reputation management (using both conventional tools and digital marketing).

His latest book can be purchased from https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corporate-Sustainability-Responsibility-Environmental-Management/dp/3319468480 or http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319468488

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The Circular Economy Agenda for Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

Most of the products we buy and consume are bound to reach their ‘end of life’ at some stage. To date, business and industry have customarily followed an economic model that is built on the premise of ‘take-make-consume and dispose’. When goods worn out or are no longer desired, they are often discarded as waste. Such a linear model also assumes that raw materials and resources are abundant, available and cheap to dispose of. However, the improper disposal of waste in landfills could cause health risks for society. Similarly, industrial and mining activities are causing resource depletion as well as pollution problems. The incineration of waste products also creates the need to dispose of residual toxic metals, including lead and mercury, which could also contaminate groundwater. Notwithstanding, it is envisaged that the reserves of some of globe’s key elements and minerals shall be depleted within the next century. At the same time, land degradation is constantly impacting on the natural environment, as arable land continues to disappear. In addition, plastic waste dumped into our seas and oceans is responsible for the deaths of millions of fish, seabirds, and sea mammals. Furthermore, the warming of the earth’s climate, that is one of the outcomes of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, is yet another serious problem facing today’s society.

The world’s growing populations and their increased wealth is inevitably leading to greater demands for limited and scarce resources. Boulding’s famous paper from 1966, “The economics of the coming spaceship Earth” anticipated that man will need to find his place in a cyclical ecological system which is capable of continuous reproduction of material. He went on to suggest that at the other end the effluents of the system are passed out into noneconomic reservoirs, including the atmosphere and the oceans. Of course, these ecological environments are not appropriated and do not enter into the exchange system. Twenty-five years ago, Granzin and Olsen (1991) reported that the US municipalities were already running out of landfills. These contentious issues underline the perennial conflict between economic development and environmental protection. Today’s society and its economic models still rely too much on resource extraction and depletion. If solutions are to be found, the public must be encouraged to alter a number of its irresponsible behaviours.

In this light, this contribution suggests that there is scope in using resources more efficiently; as better eco-designs, waste prevention and reuse of materials can possibly bring net savings for businesses, while also reducing emissions. In fact, WEF (2014) indicated that a shift towards CE can generate over US$ 500 million in material cost savings, 100,000 new jobs and prevent 100 million tons of waste globally, within five years. This means that there is a business case for CE as significant resource efficiencies could bring a new wave of smart, sustainable growth and competitiveness.

The basis of the CE economic approach lies in extracting the embedded costs of resources; through re-using, repairing, refurbishing, recycling and restoring materials and products throughout their life cycle. Arguably, what used to be regarded as ‘waste’ could be turned into a valuable resource for business and industry. The CE concept could be perceived as a response to the aspiration for sustainable growth in the context of increased regulatory pressures toward controlled operations management and environmentally responsible practices. Therefore, the setting of coherent policy frameworks and appropriate legislation could help to raise the bar for more responsible behaviours amongst public and private organisations.

Initially, the CE approach was being implemented in western countries were it was championed by a number of environmental NGOs (EMF, 2013; WEF, 2014). However, back in 2008, the People’s Republic of China had enacted a national law that promoted the CE model. Interestingly, China has experienced an average economic growth of 9.5% over the past two decades (since the start of their business-friendly policies and reforms). The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has recognised the significance of the rapid industrialisation in the Chinese scenario. Hence, UNEP in collaboration with the European Commission and Asia Pro Eco Programme have supported the Chinese city of Guiyang through the ‘Policy Reinforcement for Environmentally-Sound and Socially-Responsible Economic Development – PRODEV. In 2003, this city was still considered a relatively, underdeveloped region although it had a population of more than 3 million. For this reason, Guiyang had great potential as a pilot city for the exploration of sustainable development models (UNEP, 2006). In 2005, PRODEV supported Guiyang’s policy frameworks, financial systems that were intended to help the private sector development, facilitated technology transfers and sustained infrastructural development. PRODEV specified the best environmentally sound practices as it demonstrated the use of cleaner production processes (UNEP, 2006). Guiyang’s businesses have learned how to increase their operational efficiencies through better use of resources. These developments have also brought significant cost savings, and improvements in the firms’ bottom line. At the time, China needed a new sustainable development model which had the ability to ‘achieve improvements in resource productivity and eco-efficiency’ (Yuan, Bi, and Moriguichi, 2006:7). The country’s central development goal came into force in January 2009 as environmental conditions were expected to deteriorate due to rapid urban and industrial growth prospects.

In a similar vein, the European Union (EU) Commission has encouraged businesses to reuse, recycle and reduce resources to prevent the loss of valuable materials (EU, 2014). The EU Commission explained that, “new business models, eco-designs and industrial symbiosis can move the community towards zero-waste; reduce greenhouse emissions and environmental impacts” (EU, 2014:4). It transpired that the Europe has already started to prepare the ground work toward this transition. In fact, the ‘Resource Efficient Europe’ was one of the EU2020’s flagship ideas. This EU initiative involved the coordination of cross-national action plans and policies on the formulation of sustainable growth. The EU’s CE proposition was intended to bring positive environmental impacts, real cost savings, and greater profits. EU (2014) indicated that improvements in waste prevention and eco-design, the use and reuse of resources, and similar measures could translate to a net savings of € 600 billion, or 8 % of annual turnover (for EU businesses), while reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2-4%. This EU communication anticipated that the market for eco-industrial products will double between 2010 and 2020. It also posited that internationally, resource-efficiency improvements are in demand across a wide range of sectors. Lately, the EU has published a call for researchers, specifically in; (i) CIRC-01-2016: Eco-innovative approaches for the circular economy: large-scale demonstration projects, (ii) CIRC-02-2016: Water in the context of the circular economy, (iii) CIRC-03-2016: Smart specialisation for systematic eco-innovation / circular economy, (iv) CIRC-04-2016: New models and economic incentives for circular economy business and (v) CIRC-05-2016: Unlocking the potential for urban organic growth (EU, 2015b). Moreover, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has also unleashed a new financing avenue for future investments in infrastructure and innovation, including circular economy projects and closed loop systems.

Across the Atlantic, the US and Canada have also endorsed the circular economy perspective. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation described the circular economy as a model that focuses on the careful management of material flows through product design, reverse logistics, business model innovation, and cross-sector collaboration. The US Foundation recognised that this regenerative model offers viable business opportunities that tackle environmental issues while stimulating economic growth and development. Similarly, Canada’s ‘Circular Economy Working Group’ (CEWG) has also encouraged the wider adoption of circular approaches as illustrated in Figure 1. This working group supports knowledge sharing on CE through a series of webinars and other avenues. They also featured numerous case studies that have presented the benefits of key circular business models.

 

                                  Figure 1. The Circular Business Model

ce                                    (Accenture, 2014 in CEWG, 2015)

Although the circular economy is a relatively new notion, there could be potential pitfalls in its policy formulation and application. Moreover, businesses and industries would probably resent being imposed any mandatory changes in their established behaviours. It is very likely that they would opt to remain in their status quo, where they are ‘locked-in’ to their traditional linear models. For the time being, many companies could not be knowledgeable about the CE perspective. The terms that are actually being used to describe both linear and circular economies are potentially misleading, as both combinations already exist, but in very different contexts.

Arguably, the long term investments for an active engagement in sustainable CE practices could possibly result in significant improvements in operational efficiencies. However, CE approaches may still be perceived as novel, risky and complex. Notwithstanding, the prices of green technologies do not necessarily reflect the real costs of resources and raw materials. Macro-environmental factors, including political, economic, social and technological issues could also impact on CE behaviours. Moreover, there may be policy makers and regulators who may not want to support the transition towards the circular economy. Of course, it would be better if governments, civil societies and the respective industries work in tandem to resolve the contentious issues relating to the increased scarce and limited resources, across the globe.

In conclusion, the CE concept has the potential to maximize the functioning of global eco-systems as it could lead to significant benefits to societal well-being. There are implications for the re-alignment of economic and management practice with well laid-out ecological and social models. Future research should begin to incorporate the latest ecological knowledge into our understanding of naturalistic economic models and systems, without silencing the social and human dimension.

References

Accenture. (2014), “Circular Advantage: Innovative Business Models and Technologies to Create value in a World without Limits to Growth”, available at: https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-circular-advantage-innovative-business-models-value-growth.aspx (accessed on the 12th October, 2015).

Boulding, K.E. (1966) The economics of coming spaceship earth in Jarret, H. (Ed.), Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy, Johns Hopkins Pres, Baltimore, M.D. pp. 3–14

EMF (2013), “Towards the Circular Economy. Ellen MacArthur Foundation Rethinking the Future”, available at: http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/assets/downloads/publications/TCE_Report-2013.pdf (accessed on the 28th October, 2015).

EU (2014), “Attitudes of Europeans towards Waste Management and Resource Efficiency”, European Commission, Brussels, available at:http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_388_en.pdf (accessed on the 17th October 2015).

EU (2015b), “Research and Innovation Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy” (Call identifier: H2020-IND-CE-2016-17; Publication date: 14-10-2015), available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/calls/h2020-ind-ce-2016-17.html#c,topics=callIdentifier/t/H2020-IND-CE-2016-17/1/1/1&callStatus/t/Forthcoming/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Open/1/1/0&callStatus/t/Closed/1/1/0&+identifier/desc (accessed on the 5th November 2015).

Granzin, K. L. and Olsen, J. E. (1991), “Characterizing participants in activities protecting the environment: a focus on donating, recycling, and conservation behaviors”, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, pp. 1-27.

UNEP (2006), “Circular Economy: An alternative model for economic development”, United Nations Environment Programme. Paris, France, available at:http://www.unep.org/resourceefficiency/Portals/24147/scp/nap/circular/pdf/prodev-summary.pdf (accessed on the 25th October 2015).

WEF (2014), “Circular Economy Can Generate US$ 1 Trillion Annually by 2025”, World Economic Forum, available at: http://www.weforum.org/news/circular-economy-can-generate-us-1-trillion-annually-2025 (accessed on the 27th October 2015).

Yuan, Z., Bi, J. and Moriguichi, Y. (2006), “The circular economy: A new development strategy in China”, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-8.

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Call for Chapters on CSR

Corporate  Sustainability and Responsibility: The New Era of Corporate Citizenship
CSR Chapter
 This edited book will be published by IGI Global (USA)
Proposals Submission Deadline: January 31, 2016
Full Chapters Due: April 30, 2016
Submit your Chapter here.

 

 

Introduction

The contemporary subject of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has continuously been challenged by those who want corporations to move beyond transparency, ethical behavior and stakeholder engagement. Today, responsible behaviors are increasingly being embedded into new business models and strategies that are designed to meet environmental, societal and governance deficits.

This book builds on the previous theoretical underpinnings of the corporate social responsibility agenda, including Corporate Citizenship (Carroll, 1998; Waddock, 2004; Matten and Crane, 2004), Creating Shared Value (Porter and Kramer, 2011; 2006), Stakeholder Engagement (Freeman, 1984) and Business Ethics (Crane and Matten, 2004) as it presents the latest Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR2.0) perspective. The CSR2.0 notion is increasingly being recognized as a concept that offers ways of thinking and behaving that has potential to deliver significant benefits to both business and society (The International Conference(s) on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility, organized by the Humboldt University Berlin in 2014, 2016).

This ‘new’ proposition is an easy term that may appeal to the business practitioners as it is linked to improvements in economic performance, operational efficiency, higher quality, innovation and competitiveness. At the same time it raises awareness on responsible behaviors. Therefore, CSR2.0 can be considered as strategic in its intent and purposes, as businesses are capable of being socially and environmentally responsible ‘citizens’ as they pursue their profit-making activities.

 

Objective

 This book is a concise and authoritative guide to students and well-intended professionals. CSR is moving away from ‘nice-to-do’ to ‘doing-well-by-doing-good’ mantra. This contribution covers many aspects of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR2.0).

It will include relevant theoretical frameworks and the latest empirical research findings in the area. It shall provide thorough understanding on corporate social responsibility, sustainability, stakeholder engagement, business ethics and corporate governance. It also sheds light on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures and sustainability reporting; CSR and digital media, socially responsible investing (SRI); responsible supply chain management; the circular economy, responsible procurement of sustainable products; consumer awareness of sustainability / eco labels; climate change and the environmental awareness; CSR in education and training; and responsible behaviors of small enterprises among other topics.This publication will explain the rationale for CSR2.0 as a guiding principle for business success. It shall report on the core aspects of contemporary strategies, public policies and practices that create shared value for business and society.

References

Carroll, A. B. (1998). The four faces of corporate citizenship. Business and society review, 100(1), 1-7.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2004). Business ethics: A European perspective: managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Freeman, R. Edward (1984). Strategic Management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman. ISBN 0-273-01913-9.

Matten, D., & Crane, A. (2005). Corporate citizenship: Toward an extended theoretical conceptualization. Academy of Management review, 30(1), 166-179.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard business review, 84(12), 78-92.

Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard business review, 89(1/2), 62-77.

Waddock, S. (2004). Parallel universes: Companies, academics, and the progress of corporate citizenship. Business and society Review, 109(1), 5-42

 

Target Audience

This book introduces the concept of corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR2.0) to advanced undergraduate and / or post graduate students in a structured manner. It is also relevant to policy makers, business professionals, small business owners, non-profit organizations and charitable foundations.

 

Recommended Topics

• Theoretical Underpinnings on Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility;
• The Evolution of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility;
• International Policies and Regulatory Instruments for Engagement in Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility;
• Responsible Corporate Governance and Sustainable Business;
• Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Disclosures of Sustainable and Responsible Businesses;
• Corporate Citizenship and Sustainable Business;
• Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) for Sustainable Business;
• Responsible Supply Chain Management for Sustainable Business;
• Responsible Procurement of Sustainable Products;
• Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Communications;
• Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Reporting and Digital Media;
• Consumer Awareness of Sustainable Products and Responsible Businesses;
• The Use of Eco labels by Responsible Businesses;
• Global Issues, Climate Change and the Environmental Awareness of Sustainable and Responsible Businesses;
• Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility Initiatives in Education and Training;
• Corporate Sustainable and Responsible Behaviors;
• The Business Case for Responsible Behaviors among Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

 

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before January 31, 2016, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors will be notified by February 15, 2016 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 30, 2016, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write/ prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, CSR 2.0 and the New Era of Corporate Citizenship. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.
All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager.

 

Publisher

This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit http://www.igi-global.com. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2016.

Important Dates

January 31, 2016: Proposal Submission Deadline

February 15, 2016: Notification of Acceptance
April 30, 2016: Full Chapter Submission
June 30, 2016: Review Results Returned
July 31, 2016: Final Acceptance Notification
August 15, 2016: Final Chapter Submission

 

For Further Inquiries:

Mark Anthony Camilleri, Ph.D.

Department of Corporate Communication

Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences

Room 603, MaKS Building

University of Malta

Msida, MSD2080

MALTA

Tel: +356 2340 3742

Mob: +356 79314808

Email: Mark.A.Camilleri@um.edu.mt

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Closing the loop of the Circular Economy

In the past, economic models were mostly built on the premise of ‘take-make-consume and dispose” pattern of growth (EU, 2015). Businesses and industries have customarily followed such a linear model that assumed that resources are abundant, available and cheap to dispose of; as every product is usually bound to reach its ‘end of life’. At the same time, when products worn out or are no longer desired, they are often discarded as waste.

 

 

Industrial and mining activities are causing resource depletion and pollution problems (Prior, Giurco, Mudd, Mason and Behrisch, 2012). Notwithstanding, it is envisaged that the reserves of some of globe’s key elements and minerals shall be depleted within the next 50 years or so (Shrivastava, 1995).

Moreover, land degradation is constantly impacting on the natural environment, as arable land continues to disappear. Improper disposal of hazardous waste in landfills could cause health risks for nearby residents and animals (McKinney, Kick and Cannon, 2015).

Incineration of waste products also creates the need to dispose of residual toxic metals, including lead and mercury, which in turn bring problems of groundwater contamination (Singh, Singh, Araujo, Ibrahim and Sulaiman, 2011).

In addition, plastic waste dumped into the ocean is responsible for the deaths of millions of fish, seabirds, and sea mammals, annually (Barnes, Galgani, Thompson and Barlaz, 2009).

Furthermore, the warming of the earth’s climate, that is one of the outcomes of carbon emissions from fossil fuels, is yet another serious problem facing today’s society (Levitus, Antonov, Boyer, Baranova, Garcia, Locarnini and Zweng, 2012).

The world’s growing populations and their increased wealth is inevitably leading to greater demands for limited and scarce resources. Twenty five years ago, Granzin and Olsen (1991) reported that the US municipalities were already running out of landfills. Today, Americans are generating around 251 million tons of trash (EPA, 2012). In a similar vein, every person in Europe consumes more than 4.5 tonnes of waste (EU, 2015).

These contentious issues underline the perennial conflict between economic development and environmental protection. It may appear that the extant economic models seem to rely too much on resource extraction and depletion. If solutions are to be found, the public must be encouraged to alter a number of its irresponsible behaviors (Williams and Zinkin, 2008). There could be scope in using resources more efficiently; as better eco-designs, waste prevention and reuse of materials can possibly bring net savings for businesses, while also reducing emissions.

Perhaps, policy makers could elicit certain behavioral changes that will close the loop of the circular economy. Their responsible proposals  may be presented as voluntary principles or could even be mandated by legislation – in some contexts. Regulatory tools and guidelines will help to bring further improvements in the organisations’ operational procedures, for the benefit of all stakeholders (Camilleri, 2015).

The basis of the circular economy lies in extracting the embedded costs of resources; through re-using, repairing, refurbishing and recycling materials and products throughout their life cycle. Arguably, what was used to be regarded as ‘waste’ could be turned into a valuable resource for business and industry.

In sum, this contribution presents the business case for resource efficiency that could possibly bring a new wave of smart, sustainable growth and competitiveness.

 

References

Barnes, D. K., Galgani, F., Thompson, R. C., & Barlaz, M. (2009). Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1526), 1985-1998.

Camilleri, M.A. (2015) “Valuing Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability Reporting”. Corporate Reputation Review, Vol. 18 (3) 210-222

EPA (2012) Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2012. United States Environmental Protection Agency. http://www3.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/2012_msw_fs.pdf retrieved on 03rd November 2015.

EU (2015) Moving towards a circular economy. European Commission, Brussels. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular-economy/index_en.htm accessed on the 01st November 2015.

Levitus, S., Antonov, J. I., Boyer, T. P., Baranova, O. K., Garcia, H. E., Locarnini, R. A., … & Zweng, M. M. (2012). World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0–2000 m), 1955–2010. Geophysical Research Letters, 39(10).

McKinney, L., Kick, E., & Cannon, C. (2015). A Human Ecology Approach to Environmental Inequality: A County-Level Analysis of Natural Disasters and the Distribution of Landfills in the Southeastern United States. Human Ecology Review, 21(1), 109.

Singh, R. P., Singh, P., Araujo, A. S., Ibrahim, M. H., & Sulaiman, O. (2011). Management of urban solid waste: Vermicomposting a sustainable option. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 55(7), 719-729.

Shrivastava, P. (1995). Ecocentric management for a risk society. Academy of management review, 20(1), 118-137.

Williams, G., & Zinkin, J. (2008). The effect of culture on consumers’ willingness to punish irresponsible corporate behaviour: applying Hofstede’s typology to the punishment aspect of corporate social responsibility. Business Ethics: A European Review, 17(2), 210-226.

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