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Building resilience: A self-sustainable community approach to the triple bottom line

Aguiñaga, Eduardo, Henriques, Irene, Scheel, Carlos, Scheel, Andrea
Journal of cleaner production 2017
byproducts, community service, costs and returns, econometric models, ecosystems, governance, industry, issues and policy, politics, rural communities, social benefit, stakeholders, wastes, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico
The purpose of this paper is to assess, theoretically and empirically, the governance approach associated with the formation of the circular value ecosystem (CVES) within the Sustainable Wealth creation based on Innovation and enabling Technologies (SWIT) framework. The SWIT framework is designed to interlink economic models, policies and strategies so as to introduce and convert residue, waste and by-product chains into multiple increasing returns cycles. Unlike regional circular economy cases in Germany, Japan and China where governments or industry have taken the lead on such initiatives - a top-down governance approach, the SWIT framework was developed for regions where government support for eco-initiatives is weak and where the participation of community stakeholders is critical – a bottom-up governance approach. The ecological, social and economic dimensions of the system are explored so as to ascertain the key stakeholders critical to the governance of the circular value ecosystem (CVES). We seek to answer: What stakeholders must be incorporated in a bottom-up CVES governance approach for the SWIT framework to be able to restore environmental resilience while creating economic returns and social benefits in rural communities? We report the results of an action research case – both successes and challenges – which sought to test this community-driven bottom-up governance approach on a rural community in Mexico. Our findings suggest that a bottom-up governance approach requires a deep understanding of the social, political, environmental and economic characteristics of the community as well as civic collaboration.