[Digital ISBN: e-2184-898X |]

ERBE 02 1 04

Financing Circular Economy Projects: A Clinical Study


a Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Católica Porto Business School and CEGE, Portugal; b Banco Montepio and Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Católica Porto Business School, Portugal.

To cite this article:

Pinto, João, Paulo Alves & Cláudio Castendo. 2022. Financing Circular Economy Projects: A Clinical Study. European Review of Business Economics 73-100.


Received: 14 June 2022. Accepted 26 October 2022. Published: 31 December 2022

Language: English

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This paper interconnects the literature on circular economy and sustainable finance. In addition to describing the reasons behind circular economy projects, this paper surveys the literature on financing circularity. The financial industry plays a significant and increasing role in promoting sustainability by supporting sustainable investment projects. To obtain funds for circular economy projects, sponsors face additional challenges due to business and financial complexities inherent to such projects. We characterise and describe firms’ reasons for developing circular economy projects as well as how these projects are funded by using a clinical study focused on three projects. Extant literature presents 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle); the reduction of cost and pollution; improvement in competitiveness, innovation, and processes; improvement of ESG ratings, and enhance reputation. All these reasons are positively correlated and address resource scarcity, impact on environment, and economic concerns. Innovative circular projects are typically funded via a mix of sustainable equity – venture capital funds, impact investors, EU funds – and debt – sustainable bonds (green and ESG bonds) and loans.


Financing instruments; circular economy; ESG; clinical study.

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