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Adoption of circular economy practices in small and medium-sized enterprises: Evidence from Europe

Dey, Prasanta Kumar and Malesios, Chrysovalantis and Chowdhury, Soumyadeb and Saha, Krishnendu and Budhwar, Pawan and De, Debashree (2022) 'Adoption of circular economy practices in small and medium-sized enterprises: Evidence from Europe.' International Journal of Production Economics, 248. p. 108496. ISSN 0925-5273

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Circular Economy (CE) practices have the potential to enhance sustainability performance of organisations and therefore can help respond to United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. The aim of this research is to examine the adoption of CE in Euroepan small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and its impact on sustainability performance. We analyse the current state of CE practices and its impact on sustainability performance across key CE fields of action (design, procurement, production, distribution, consumption and recover) for SMEs in France, Greece, Spain and the UK A mixed-methods approach (survey, interviews, case studies) is undertaken to collect data from around 100 SMEs in each country, employing resource-based view as the theoretical lens. Our findings reveal that CE adoption can result into superior environmental performance through energy and resource efficiency, and waste reduction. Moreover, the ‘design’ function contributes the most towards the adoption of CE in SMEs, whereas the ‘recover’ function contributes the least, considering the current state-of-practices. From a theoretical perspective, we outline the issues and challenges, impact of support from customers and policymakers, and self-motivation of SMEs to adopt CE. Based on the findings, we propose an implementation framework for SMEs to develop organisation wide strategic initiatives for CE adoption in business operations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Circular economy; Sustainability performance; Small and medium sized enterprises; Closed loop supply chain; Resource-based view
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2022 14:48
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 14:50

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