Opinion (Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Philips): “Today, the world needs a similar paradigm shift. But this time it is the prevailing economic model that must be transformed. … The problem is that the world has long maintained a myopic focus on producing and consuming goods as cheaply as possible. The result is a linear economy based on the rapid use, disposal, and replacement of goods.
“Sustaining the current model would require unlimited, easily accessible resources and infinite space for waste – something that clearly is not possible. Indeed, the consequences of our disposable economy – skyrocketing CO2 emissions, unmanageable waste streams, and the increasing difficulty of extracting resources, to name a few – are already apparent.
“To find a sustainable alternative, one need only look to nature, where nothing is wasted. … This requires a new generation of materials, as well as innovative development and production processes. It also demands new business models, a redefined concept of legal ownership and use, new public-tendering rules, and novel financing strategies. Finally, a circular economy calls for adaptive logistics and a leadership culture that embraces the new system and rewards progress toward establishing it. …
“But businesses cannot transform the economy alone. In order to shift firms’ emphasis from minimizing initial costs to maximizing total value, while ensuring the protection of people’s health and well-being, governments should change their tendering processes by implementing requirements for circularity, thereby helping to drive demand for new solutions.
“At the same time, consumers must be open to using products that they do not own. Because the circular economy is inherently systemic, it can succeed only if all stakeholders co-design, co-create, and co-own products and services. …
“Like all major transitions in human history, the shift from a linear to a circular economy will be a tumultuous one. It will feature pioneers and naysayers, victories and setbacks.”
My Comment: Capitalists will never change their goal: maximum profit in any way. Our egoism cannot think about anything else. The transition to the integral economy, where only necessities are produced only in an environmentally friendly way, is possible only through the re-education of capitalists either voluntarily (by explaining its necessity) or against their will (through suffering and crises).