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Walter R. Stahel      

Architect, Editor of the Risk Management Newsletter of The Geneva Association & Sustainability Advocate

Walter R. Stahel is a Swiss architect, graduating from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich in 1971. He has been influential in developing the field of sustainability, by advocating 'service-life extension of goods - reuse, repair, remanufacture, upgrade technologically' philosophies as they apply to industrialized economies. His ideas, and those of similar theorists, led to what is now known as the circular economy in which industry adopts the reuse and service-life extension of goods as a strategy of waste prevention, regional job creation and resource efficiency in order to decouple wealth from resource consumption, that is to dematerialise the industrial economy. In the 1990s, Stahel extended this vision to selling goods as services as the most efficient strategy of the circular economy. He described this approach in his 2006 book The Performance Economy

Stahel has been founder-director of the Product-Life Institute (Switzerland), the oldest established consultancy in Europe devoted to developing sustainable strategies and policies, since 1983.

From 1986 to 2013, he was also director of risk management research of the Geneva Association. In 1971, he graduated from ETH Zurich with an MA in architecture. Walter is a full member of the Club of Rome.

In 2005, he was nominated Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey, UK; in 2016 at l’Institut EDDEC (environmement, développement durable et économie circulaire), Montréal, Canada.

In 2013, Walter received a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Surrey; in 2016 another one from l’Université de Montréal.

Stahel regularly lectures at universities and conferences in Europe, Asia and the USA on subjects ranging from the insurability of risks as the borderline between State and the economy, risk management and loss prevention to eco-design, waste prevention and strategies for a more sustainable development.

In 2019, he published *The Circular Economy: A User's Guide."

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