Browse Definitions :
Definition

circular economy

A circular economy is an industrial system in which the potential use of goods and materials is optimized and their elements returned to the system at the end of their viable life cycles.

Supply chain sustainability and product life cycle sustainability are integral to the circular economy. Materials and products have a closed-loop life cycle and, ideally, all elements that go into the creation of a product are reused, recycled or remanufactured rather than discarded.

The philosophy is based on a holistic perspective of processes and technologies that goes beyond the focus of delivery, inventory and traditional views of cost. The underlying principle is that responsible products and practices are not only good for the environment, but are also important for long-term profitability.

The circular economy is in direct opposition to consumerist culture, which is considered a linear structure that is sometimes expressed as take, make, dispose. Waste is an integral element of consumerism because its emphasis is on promoting the purchase of new goods -- which often translates to disposing of older but still viable products.

The concept of built-in obsolescence originated in the 1950s as a response to perceived consumer demand for new and improved products. In a historical context, that demand may have arisen as a reaction to the privations suffered during and immediately after World War II. The business response was to begin to manufacture items that don't last very long or don't satisfy user demands for very long.

Similarly, the glut of consumer items of more recent decades may have stimulated desire for a more sustainable and less exploitative way of life. Proposed means to satisfy that desire include the circular economy, the sharing economy and collaborative consumption.

This was last updated in December 2015

Continue Reading About circular economy

SearchCompliance
  • OPSEC (operations security)

    OPSEC (operations security) is a security and risk management process and strategy that classifies information, then determines ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract is a decentralized application that executes business logic in response to events.

  • compliance risk

    Compliance risk is an organization's potential exposure to legal penalties, financial forfeiture and material loss, resulting ...

SearchSecurity
  • shadow password file

    A shadow password file, also known as /etc/shadow, is a system file in Linux that stores encrypted user passwords and is ...

  • browser hijacker (browser hijacking)

    A browser hijacker is a malware program that modifies web browser settings without the user's permission and redirects the user ...

  • Kerberos

    Kerberos is a protocol for authenticating service requests between trusted hosts across an untrusted network, such as the ...

SearchHealthIT
SearchDisasterRecovery
  • What is risk mitigation?

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • change control

    Change control is a systematic approach to managing all changes made to a product or system.

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an organization's ability to respond to and recover from an event that affects business operations.

SearchStorage
  • bare-metal restore

    A bare-metal restore (also referred to as bare-metal recovery or bare-metal backup) is a data recovery and restoration process ...

  • mSATA SSD (mSATA solid-state drive)

    An mSATA SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to the mSATA interface specification developed by the Serial ATA (SATA) ...

  • network-attached storage (NAS)

    Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and heterogeneous client devices to retrieve...

Close