10th International Conference on Life Cycle Management

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Session: Sustainability Assessments in Industry Creating Meaninful Information

Title of Presentation: Indicators to manage the transition to circular business models: A systematic literature review

Abstract: Indicators for circularity on a business model level are necessary to support the development and implementation of circular strategies and mark progress towards resource-efficiency and sustainability for companies. Prior research has produced a plethora of circular indicators, as well as indicator classifications by various functions and spectra, e.g. from a nano (product) level to macro (city to national) level.

However, it remains unclear from a managerial perspective how circular indicators can be understood and operationalized by firms to transition to circular business models. This is for several reasons, including the general technical or theoretical orientation of indicators, need for experts to comprehend the indicators, and lack of comprehension of the practicability of usage. The lack of clarity and utility of circular indicators reinforces the idea-action gap observed in industry.

This research therefore aims to conduct a systematic literature review and classify micro (firm-level) circular indicators in their communicability and potential usability at various organizational levels from a managerial perspective. The review will build on existing frameworks of categorized indicator function and value chain application and utilise a multi-level framework including circular business archetypes, indicator applicability to business operations, and strategic decision-making and management. The intended outcome is to provide a foundation for further research in the testing of indicator actionability by deriving criteria for implementation feasibility and adoption. By taking a managerial perspective, the study advances the understanding of indicators with direct potential for company use in business model transitions and furthers research towards the standardization of indicators. For companies, this facilitates internal transitions and external communication to customers and investors, thereby helping close the idea-action gap in circularity.
Period2021 Sept 12021 Sept 8
Event typeConference
LocationStuttgart, GermanyShow on map