This paper explores the dilemmas and contradictions associated with a corporate-led circular economy in order to understand its possibilities and limitations to contribute to a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. While targets were set in the Paris agreement to prevent a global warming above 1.5 degrees, greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing, with severe consequences for humanity and the planet. The circular economy is promoted by governments and inter-governmental organizations as a solution combine economic growth and ecological sustainability. This paper explores the questions if an economy can produce less and still grow, if a ‘circular fix’ can solve the climate crisis and if regenerating nature goes along with regenerating profits, in short, if the notion of a corporate- driven circular economy is utopian, or practical and do-able. This paper links the macro-level debates with the micro-level by studying the transition of one major corporate actor in the manufacturing sector to a circular economy.

Additional Metadata
Keywords circular economy, climate change, contradictions, dilemmas, sustainability, capitalism
Thesis Advisor Borras, Saturnino (Jun) M.
Persistent URL
Series Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES)
Hötzeneder, Karolina. (2019, December 20). Dilemmas and contradictions, limits and possibilities of a corporate-led circular economy in times of climate change. Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies (AFES). Retrieved from