Circular Economy, Banks and Other Financial Institutions: What’s in it For Them?
17 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 6, 2021
The circular economy agenda is widely seen as a response to climate change and is forcing societies to re-evaluate how resources are used towards creating a sustainable economy that is free of waste. Financial institutions are being pressured to finance circular projects and investment. But for financial institutions to participate in the circular economy, there must be a clear benefit to financial institutions. In this paper, I highlight the benefit of the circular economy to banks and other financial institutions. The paper uses discourse analysis methodology to present an overview of the circular economy concept and the benefit of the circular economy to banks and other financial institutions. The findings show that some benefits of the circular economy to banks include: (i) greater loan diversification opportunities, (ii) promotes responsible and sustainable banking, (iii) increased lending to circular clients and the recycling sector which means more profit for banks, and (iv) correcting the bad perception about banks in society. Some benefits of the circular economy to other financial institutions include: (i) issuance of special insurance policies for reused products; (ii) greater sustainability-adjusted return on investment; (iii) greater funding to microfinance institutions; and (iv) more opportunities for collaborative funding to circular businesses. This study contributes to the scant literature that examine the role of the finance industry in the circular economy.
Keywords: circular economy, linear economy, banks, financial institutions, criticism, sustainability, climate change, waste, insurance, sustainable finance, sustainable banking, hedge funds, microfinance institutions
JEL Classification: G21, G28, O44, Q54, Q28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation