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The Implementation of Circular Economy practices in European Multi-National Enterprises: a Review

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posted on 2021-01-28, 23:10 authored by Tommaso CalzolariTommaso Calzolari, Andrea GenoveseAndrea Genovese, Andrew Brint
The recently promoted European Commission Circular Economy Package (2015) and Circular Economy Action Plan (2018) aim at decoupling economic growth from resource consumption by closing the loop of products and material flows. Coherently to a free-market scenario, these directives openly recognise a very important role for existing organisations, which, through bottom-up initiatives, shall drive the transition towards the Circular Economy in supply chains. In the European context, several companies (both SMEs and MNEs) claim to have changed, over the last years, the way they operate, by adopting Circular Economy practices. Such interventions have emphasised product and material reuse and recycle and the use of renewable energy sources throughout supply chains (Genovese et al., 2017). However, the actual extent to which Circular Economy principles are operationalised and the real impact of legislation changes have yet to be investigated (Stewart & Niero, 2018), especially when dealing with large Multi-National Enterprises, which have been operating, for decades, according to a very traditional linear model. As such, this study aims at assessing the Circular Economy state-of-the-practice in a structured way, by classifying all the initiatives that can be recognised in the largest European companies by revenues, according to the Global Fortune 500 list (fiscal year 2018). Key findings of the underlying research include an evaluation of the type of practices and of their degree of implementation, of the metrics employed to measure their impacts, along with the level of involvement of supply chain partners in such practices.


Realising the Transition to the Circular Economy: Models, Methods and Applications

European Commission

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