Handbook of Sustainable Innovation
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Handbook of Sustainable Innovation

Edited by Frank Boons and Andrew McMeekin

The Handbook of Sustainable Innovation maps the multiple lineages of research and understanding that constitute academic work on how technological change relates to sustainable practices of production and consumption. Leading academics contribute by mapping the general evolution of this academic field, our understanding of sustainable innovation at the firm, user, and systems level, the governance of sustainable innovation, and the methodological approaches used. The Handbook explores the distinctiveness of sustainable innovation and concludes with suggestions for generating future research avenues that exploit the current diversity of work while seeking increased systemic insight.
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Chapter 19: The impact of circular economy

Dionne Ewen, Karen Maas and Helen Toxopeus

Abstract

There is worldwide growing attention for the shift towards a circular economy. The focus shifted from how innovation in business models could lead to more profit towards how innovation in business models may solve societal problems and hence contribute to a sustainable economy and society. Although positive ecological and social impact is embodied in the definition and promise of the circular economy, we know little about what type of impact circular enterprises expect to make, whether they measure their impact and use this to adjust their strategy where necessary. This leads us to the following research question: what is the expected impact of different types of circular innovation for firms, and how can firms measure this impact? Based on different case studies, different circular innovation strategies and their expected impact are identified and a framework is developed that can help firms to identify and measure their expected impact.

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