Special Issue "Circular Economy in Small and Medium Enterprises"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Carmen Jaca
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
University of Navarra, TECNUN, Industrial Management Department, San Sebastian 20018, Spain
Interests: Circular economy; Continuous improvement; Sustainability
Dr. Tatiana Reyes
Website
Guest Editor
ICD, Hetic, Creidd, Université de Technologie de Troyes, FRE2019, CNRS, Troyes, France
Interests: Design for sustainability, sustainable values, methods and tools, sociotechnical systems, holistic approach, Permacircular economy
Dr. Marta Ormazabal
Website
Guest Editor
University of Navarra, TECNUN, Industrial Management Department, San Sebastian, 20018 Spain
Interests: Circular Economy, Sustainability, Environmental Management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The circular economy is a paradigm that aims to generate economic prosperity, protect the environment, and prevent pollution in order to facilitate sustainable development through creating and maintaining value in the economy, encouraging regenerative innovations, and closing the energy and material loops.

Considering that linear business models predominate in firms, the transition to a circular system will require guidance and examples of successful cases for the benefits and advantages of the CE to become accepted and for the methods of application for sustainable production and consumption to become well known. This support is especially important in the case of SMEs, which have become highly important because they make up 95% of companies in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries (OECD, 2017). However, such organizations have to deal with technological, financial, and human resource barriers against circular economy implementation (Ormazabal et al., 2016; Rizos et al., 2016).

We are seeking contributions reflecting different perspectives and methodological approaches that explore circular economy applications, methodologies, and practices in SMEs. Contributions from all sectors are welcome, from manufacturing to services industries and both public and private. Empirical contributions are encouraged as well as theoretical and conceptual papers which address circular economy in SMEs.

Dr. Carmen Jaca
Dr. Tatiana Reyes
Dr. Marta Ormazabal
Guest Editors

References

OECD, 2017. Enhancing the Contributions of SMEs in a Global and Digitalised Economy, pp. 7-8.

Ormazabal, M., Prieto-Sandoval, V., Jaca, C., Santos, J., 2016. An overview of the circular economy among SMEs in the Basque Country: a multiple case study. J. Ind. Eng. Manag. 9, 1047e1058. https://doi.org/10.3926/jiem.2065.

Rizos, V., Behrens, A., van der Gaast, W., Hofman, E., Ioannou, A., Kafyeke, T., Flamos, A., Rinaldi, R., Papadelis, S., Hirschnitz-Garbers, M., Topi, C., 2016. Implementation of Circular Economy Business Models by Small and Mediumsized Enterprises (SMEs): Barriers and Enablers, 8. Sustain. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111212.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • SMEs
  • environmental strategy
  • methodologies

Published Papers (2 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Shortcomings of Transforming a Local Circular Economy System through Industrial Symbiosis: A Case Study in Spanish SMEs
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8423; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208423 - 13 Oct 2020
Abstract
Defining the circular economy (CE) as a material and energy model coincides with the definition given by multiple authors in which Industrial Symbiosis (IS) has been deemed as a foundational strategy to support the implementation of the CE. The consumption of secondary materials [...] Read more.
Defining the circular economy (CE) as a material and energy model coincides with the definition given by multiple authors in which Industrial Symbiosis (IS) has been deemed as a foundational strategy to support the implementation of the CE. The consumption of secondary materials is essential to achieve a successful transformation from a linear economy to a CE focused on IS practices. In this scenario, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a major role as stakeholders in developing CE systems as it is not possible to create this model with each company working in isolation. However, there is a lack of empirical studies on the role played by relevant local stakeholders such as individual firms interacting in the development of a local CE system. This study aimed to study the challenges that SMEs face in developing a CE system. A case study is selected as a research strategy using a mixed-method approach: a sequential quantitative (questionnaire) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews) data collection techniques were employed for this research. It was observed that an absence of inter-organisational collaboration and a misunderstanding of the roles played by SMEs may impede the implementation of a local CE system level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy in Small and Medium Enterprises)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
A Critical Review of Academic Approaches, Methods and Tools to Assess Circular Economy at the Micro Level
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124973 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Transitioning from the current linear economic development model to a circular economy (CE) is a hot topic in academic literature, public governance, and the corporate domain. Actors have implemented CE strategies to reduce their resource use and its associated impacts, while boosting economic [...] Read more.
Transitioning from the current linear economic development model to a circular economy (CE) is a hot topic in academic literature, public governance, and the corporate domain. Actors have implemented CE strategies to reduce their resource use and its associated impacts, while boosting economic competitiveness and generating positive social impact. Companies are identified as key actors in transitioning to a CE, and many academics have proposed tools to assess CE and guide them in this process. This paper critically reviews such academic ‘assessment approaches’ at the micro level in order to reflect on their key properties. Seventy-four approaches are inventoried through a systematic literature review of academic literature. A critical review framework is constructed and applied, containing four perspectives: A general perspective, a descriptive perspective (methodological aspects), a normative perspective (connections to Sustainable Development), and a prescriptive perspective (implementation-focused). Methodologically, the 74 approaches are highly diverse, having various connections to previously established methodologies. Eighteen of the reviewed assessment approaches include all three dimensions of Sustainable Development (SD), in addition to a ‘circular’ dimension. Roughly one quarter of the approaches apply a participatory design approach. Suggested key desired properties of CE assessment approaches include making use of existing assessment methodologies such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), and a closer collaboration between science and practitioners to consider end-user needs in the design of CE assessment approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy in Small and Medium Enterprises)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop