Towards a more circular economy: exploring the awareness, practices, and barriers from a focal firm perspective

Donato Masi*, Vikas Kumar, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes, Janet Godsell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The circular economy (CE) proposes an economic framework based on circular flows of products and materials. Transition towards a CE is underway, therefore, understanding the nature and state of this transition is important for creating effective policies and business strategies. Some studies have focused on specific contexts and pockets of good practice. This exploratory, survey-based study of 77 companies investigates the shift towards the CE using a taxonomy of practices and barriers. Results show that firms favour practices related to resource and energy utilisation efficiency, while practices related to investment recovery, green purchasing and customer cooperation are less prevalent. Eco-design and internal environmental management practices have a medium level of implementation. The significant upfront investment cost, lack of awareness or sense of urgency were identified as implementation barriers. Results suggest the CE is driven by economic not environmental considerations, and the deployment of practices remains within a firm rather than across the supply chain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-550
Number of pages12
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number6
Early online date21 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


Cite this