Exploring assessment practices of companies actively engaged with circular economy

Erik Roos Lindgreen, Katelin Opferkuch, Anna M. Walker, Roberta Salomone, Tatiana Reyes, Andrea Raggi, Alberto Simboli, Walter J. V. Vermeulen, Sandra Caeiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An emerging research area is dedicated to developing approaches for assessing the ‘circularity’ of companies and their products, within the context of sustainability goals. However, empirical evidence on the uptake of these assessment approaches remains scarce. Using a purposive sampling, we conducted a survey receiving 155 responses and held 43 semi-structured interviews with Dutch and Italian companies active in circular economy (CE), pursuing three research aims: to explore the use of CE and sustainability assessment approaches; to study the process of developing assessment approaches; and to uncover benefits of—and barriers to—CE assessment. While we find high variability of assessment approaches, most often, companies develop tailor-made sustainability indicators and apply life cycle assessments to CE strategies. Importantly, assessment development for CE practices requires and facilitates collaboration with external stakeholders. Finally, we reflect on the paradox of standardisation versus tailoring of assessment approaches within the CE reality and recommend establishing company needs and capabilities before designing assessment approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1414-1438
Number of pages25
JournalBusiness Strategy And The Environment
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • circularity indicators
  • corporate sustainability
  • material flow analysis
  • mixed methods
  • stakeholder engagement
  • sustainability assessment

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