Publication on Holistic System Change towards Circular Economy within Supply-Chains by Uni Luxembourg


The concept of the circular economy (CE) is receiving encouraging attention among scholars and practitioners, as a convenient solution to move away from the linear economy concept without neglecting the goals of sustainable development. The main goals of the CE are the closing of resource loops and the keeping of resources in the system for as long as possible at the highest utility level. However, as a result of the lack of internationally accepted definitions of the CE and several unsolved barriers, an excessive and inconsistent number of different CE applications exist. Most fields are mainly focusing on making a linear system circular instead of applying the CE principles in a holistic way. This paper presents a strategy to close the mentioned inconsistency gap, by contrasting currently discussed CE barriers and goals and thereof deriving two areas with a need for action (1. identifying the needed collection, sorting, and recovery infrastructure, and 2. developing circular product design guidelines). The strategy itself consists of connecting these two areas through an improved information exchange between the end-of-life (EOL) and beginning-of-life (BOL) of products. The result is CE design guidelines which are in accordance with the available or needed collection, sorting, and recovery infrastructure. The proposed strategy presents an innovative solution to apply CE principles in a holistic manner, based on EOL-driven product design

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