Hence, the concept of the circular economy focuses on the redesign of manufacturing andservice systems, for the benefit of the bio-sphere. Despite the circular economy construct offers a more sustainable way of doing business; inreality the circular economic approach could be perceived as novel, risky and complex. Thetransition toward a zero-waste model could prove to bea very difficult endeavor for businesses.In the face of an ongoing depletion of natural resources and the ever-growing demands from theglobal population, businesses are increasingly questioning their linear economic model of“take, make, waste”. Moreover, there are potential challenges for the implementation of closedloop systems. Macro-environmental factors, including political, economic, social andtechnological issues could also impact on corporate sustainable and responsible behaviors. Forinstance, this perspective is virtually silent on the social dimension. The circular economy8
devotes its undivided attention to environmental issues. There is no explicit recognition of thesocial aspects that have been inherent in other conceptualizations of sustainable development.Moreover, the circular economy approach can also be critiqued for its over-simplistic goals aswell as its unintended consequences. At times, positive sustainable initiatives could also bringnegative outcomes. For the time being, many companies are still not knowledgeable enough about the circulareconomy. For instance, the alternative fuel that is produced from palm oil or soybeans hasinevitably led to the loss of large forested areas around the world. Equally, green energyproduction often necessitates large stretches of arable land and puts huge pressures on the foodsupply chain, particularly in the poorest countries. Notwithstanding, the production of Ethanolis yet another example that requires more fossil fuel than it produces (Farigone, Hill, Tilman,Polasky and Hawthorne, 2008). In addition, environmentally-friendly technologies, includingwind farms and solar panels do rely on certain minerals that are also difficult to recycle. Thesegreen structures will invariably require servicing and replacement. The prices of greentechnologies do not necessarily reflect the real costs of resources and raw materials. Currentinfrastructural systems, business models and technologies could also constrain the presenteconomy. Although financial investments in new technologies could possibly improveoperational yields and efficiencies, there could still be a low demand for them, particularly ifthese new systems require behavioral changes by their users. Policy makers and regulators maynot necessarily support the transition towards the circular economy. Business and industrywould probably resent any mandatory changes in their established behaviors. It is very likelythat they would opt to remain in their status quo, where they are ‘locked-in’ to their traditionallinear model.