Systemic circular business model application at the company, supply chain and society levels: A view into circular economy native and adopter companies

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Abstract

This study contributes to the conceptualization of a sustainable circular business model (CBM), the application of the circular economy (CE) by companies. The study utilized a three-level framework adapted from the CE literature with company (micro), supply chain (meso) and society (macro) levels. This multiple-case study in the textile industry included two types of companies operating in the CE: companies founded on the sustainable principles of a CE (natives) and companies transitioning to a CE from the linear economy (adopters). The findings show that the adopters emphasized long-term economic sustainability on a company level and implemented CE elements to varying degrees on all three levels. The natives pursued business decisions from environmental and social sustainability standpoints, and the three levels were integral in their systemic approach to a CE. The study highlights two key claims: established operational structures and economic volition hindered adopters in their systemic CE implementation, and an integral part of the CBM for natives was a proactive approach towards the society level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1173
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Volume30
Issue number2
Early online date23 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • circular business model
  • circular economy
  • natives and adopters
  • sustainable development
  • system shift

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