Partnerships: cornerstone
of the circular economy

The circular economy provides a desirable alternative to the prevailing economic model, which is based on the linear use of natural resources from extraction and harvesting to waste disposal, and the cause of major environmental disruptions.
The development of the circular economy is hindered by the dispersal of secondary material deposits, their variable quantity and quality, the lack of technology, poor access to information, the absence of an incentivising regulatory and fiscal framework, and the persistence of psychological barriers.
The circular economy also presents specific risks that limit investment. An analysis of twenty-seven circular economy approaches, initiated by businesses and collected over three years of discussions within EpE’s Natural Resources Commission, has helped us to better understand the conditions for the successful implementation and mainstreaming of those initiatives.
Partnerships act as a necessary lever for overcoming obstacles and delivering solutions that make better use of local resources, secure supplies and outlets, organise circular economy pathways, experiment, and create new value chains.
A study of the various governance systems in place within the observed partnerships, conducted in collaboration with the ESCP-Deloitte Chair of Circular Economy, reveals three broad types of governance: centralised, distributed and digital.
The publication also highlights the role of public authorities in the development of these initiatives and underlines the complexity of measuring the environmental footprint of such projects.