A Systems Perspective on Social Indicators for Circular Supply Chains

David Hidalgo-Carvajal, Vinícius Picanço-Rodrigues*, Christopher Mejía-Argueta, David E. Salinas-Navarro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The overarching paradigm of circular economy has fundamentally challenged the established, linear supply chains across several industries and geographies. While this new paradigm has been increasingly driving transitions toward circular supply chains, its social potential and implications have not earned as much attention. Within this context, we conceptualize social issues in circular supply chains as complex systems due to their high levels of interconnectedness among intricate variables. We compile extant social indicators prescribed by specialized literature to propose a classification scheme for the social performance measurement of circular supply chains. The classification uses the concept of a system’s leverage points and their effect on the many actors and stakeholders across supply chains, from companies and non-governmental organizations to communities and public agencies. Scholars, practitioners, and policymakers may apply the classification scheme to advance the measurement techniques and arguments around social externalities, both negative and positive, generated by the widespread diffusion of circular supply chain systems. We highlight these key managerial insights in a practical example.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Social Dimensions of the Circular Economy
EditorsDiego A. Vazquez-Brust, Lucila M. S. Campos
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9783031254369
ISBN (Print)9783031254352
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023

Publication series

NameGreening of Industry Network Studies
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISSN (Print)2543-0246
ISSN (Electronic)2543-0254

Bibliographical note

Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This version of the paper has been accepted for publication, and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use [https://www.springernature.com/gp/open-research/policies/accepted-manuscript-terms], but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25436-9_2


  • Social impact
  • Social sustainability
  • Supply chain management
  • Systems thinking


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