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Transition towards circular economy through a multi-readiness level model

An explorative study in the construction equipment industry

Written by F. Balestrucci

Paper category

Master Thesis






Thesis: The theoretical background and development of the conceptual model. In this chapter, readers are introduced to the theoretical basis of the thesis work. First introduced the concept of sustainability and sustainable development, and then the definition and key aspects of circular economy and circular business model, as well as the level of readiness and maturity model. Then there is the economic presentation of the conceptualization process of the multi-readiness model of the transition to the cycle. The first step involves categorizing articles by result type, and then extracting key elements from the text. Then, further classification is performed to create clusters of interconnected elements. Finally, a multi-preparation level model was designed and proposed. 3.1 Sustainability and sustainable development In the past few decades, people have paid more and more attention to environmental degradation, excessive consumption of resources and social inequality. Therefore, we need to transform our economy and society in a more sustainable way (Adams et al., 2016). On our plundered planet, one of the first environmental books to receive media coverage, the author described how human behavior and settlements have a negative impact on the environment, and clearly pointed out that humans are destroying the earth, just like fighting it (Osborn, 1948). In later years, other publications investigated the limitations of humans’ current approach to the environment, and at the same time predicted irreversible ecological disasters on the earth and terrible future for mankind (Cole, H. et al., 1973). These fears and opinions have therefore entered the agenda of the United Nations and other institutions, showing the way to achieve sustainable development through the World Conservation Strategy (United Nations, 1980). A few years later, with the release of the Brundtland report, the concept of sustainable development gained a greater degree by introducing the well-known definition of "development not only meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." Attraction (Brentland, 1987, p. 41). Ultimately, the most famous definition of sustainable development is given by the triple bottom line, namely people, planet, and profit (Elkington, 1999), which includes environmental, social, and economic aspects at the same time (Figure 4). The concept of sustainable development has not escaped criticism. Some researchers define it as a rather vague slogan (Lélé, 1991), or even a theoretical dream (Naudé, 2011). Nevertheless, since the second half of the last century, manufacturing and general companies have been required to act in accordance with the basic principles of sustainable development (Adams et al., 2016), and have tried a variety of sustainable development methods (Rashid et al. , 2016). ., 2008). 3.2 Defining the Circular Economy Circular economy has recently received a lot of attention among policymakers and institutions (Brennan et al., 2015), and many authors consider it to be a viable way to achieve sustainable development (Mas-Tur et al., 2019; Centobelli et al.) ., 2020). The early development of the circular economy can be traced back to the work of Stahel and Reday, who conceptualized the vision of the circular economy and its impact on job creation, economic competitiveness, resource conservation, and waste prevention (Stahel and Reday-Mulvey, 1981). Recently, Geissdoerfer (2017) conducted a bibliometric analysis of the latest technology in the evolving circular economy field, showing that it has gained a significant increase in interest in a short period of time, and the number of publications is stable and exponentially increasing (Geissdoerfer et al. , 2017. Facts have proved that non-academic groups are in a leading position in promoting circular economy work (Schut et al., 2015). Various stakeholders have begun to become familiar with the concept of circular economy, which has led to a broad definition and understanding of it ( Lieder and Rashid, 2016), usually unclear and diverse (Corona et al., 2019). In a recent academic study very popular in this field, the systematic approach to circular economy surveys 114 available definitions were found and selected in the papers and reports (Kirchherr et al., 2017). Kirchherr’s research results are a comprehensive definition of circular economy, which is designed as follows: “Circular economy is an economic system that replaces the end of life 'Concept, in the production/distribution and consumption process. It operates at the micro level (product, company, consumer), meso level (eco-industrial park) and macro level (city, region, country, and other levels), aiming to achieve Sustainable development, thereby simultaneously creating environmental quality, economic prosperity and social equity, benefiting present and future generations. It is achieved by new business models and responsible consumers" (Kirchherr et al., 2017, pages 224-225) One of the most important features of the definition of circular economy lies in the micro-, meso-, and macro-level concepts expressed by Kirchherret et al. (2017). This level of distinction is necessary for understanding circular economy. In fact, it starts the cycle. Transformation requires a systematic transformation, not a gradual distortion of current practice (Kirchherr et al., 2017), and the use of micro-concepts, meso- and macro-levels can help understand the possible depth levels of different interventions. Read Less