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The 30th anniversary of Walter R. Stahel’s prize winning paper “The Product Life Factor”

The 30th anniversary of the 1982 Mitchell Prize competition
In 1982, Walter R. Stahel won a prize in the prestigious U.S. Mitchell Prize competition. His paper “The Product-Life Factor” was the first publication defining the closed loop economy—what is now referred to as the circular economy—and describing the impact of an economy in loops on resource savings, waste prevention, job creation and the role of innovation and the private sector.

Effective Industrial Policy Needs to Embrace Resource Efficiency

“Europe needs more growth and jobs but these cannot come at the expense of the environment. That is why an effective industrial policy needs to embrace resource efficiency” is the title of an article in the December issue of Enterprise & Industry.

This coincides exactly with the objective of the Performance Economy and shows how far ahead the thinking of Walter Stahel’s book The Performance Economy was, when it was first published in 2006 (second edition 2010): business models to create more growth and more jobs while greatly reducing resource consumption.

Walter Stahel on Closed Loop Economy

Walter Stahel gave a presentation on “the role of sustainable taxation as a booster to the [b]circular economy[/b], or [b]closed loop economy[/b], on [b]job creation[/b], [b]resource security[/b] and prevention of GHG emissions”, at the European Conference “Towards New Progress for Humankind and Innovation Opportunities”, held in Brussels, 21 December 2012.

Sustainable taxation creates regional jobs in a circular economy

Walter R. Stahel,

Stahel states that in a sustainable economy, taxes on renewable resources including work—human labour—are wrong and should be abandoned. The resulting loss of state revenue could be compensated by taxing the consumption of non-renewable resources in the form of materials and energies, and taxing waste and emissions.

Not taxing renewable resources seems to be in the very logic of a sustainable society. Yet human labour—work—is a primary renewable resource which has never been recognised as such by politicians.

Walter Stahel at the World Resource Forum in Davos (19-20 September 2011)

‘Eating people is wrong’ is a statement which most people will support and most will adhere to; ‘taxing renewable energies is wrong’ sounds equally right for most people.

Many governments subsidise such renewable resources as biomass, solar and wind energy. Yet human labour – work – is another renewable resource which, when intelligently used, has traditionally been taxed in most countries, but when wasted, is supported by social welfare.

A need for appropriate sustainable taxation