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Circular Economy and Innovation: A Systematic Literature Review

Sonia Herrero-Luna, Marta Ferrer-Serrano and María Pilar Latorre-Martínez

Central European Business Review, 2022, vol. 2022, issue 1, 65-84

Abstract: The circular economy is presented as the sustainable solution as opposed to the current linear model of production and resource management, whose effects impact negatively on the economic, social and environmental dimensions. Through a systematic review of the literature, this article aims to unify and to uncover the available evidence on innovation in relation to the circular economy and to determine those aspects that remain unexplored or should be studied in more depth in order to be able to continue to make progress in this field. Thus, it was found that although the circular economy is at an early stage of implementation, both its benefits and drivers as well as its challenges and barriers to implementation have already been investigated. More importantly, it was found that ecological innovations, which reduce the environmental impact of production and consumption activities, are necessary for the research of new business models and new ways of operating in supply chains that allow closing the circle and taking advantage of all the waste, such as the system of products and services, dynamic capabilities, 3D printing, the biography of the product and the software recycling. To achieve this goal, the evidence shows that it is mandatory to raise awareness of the situation, especially through marketing actions, as well as for companies, including SMEs, to be willing to act together and to align their interests. Implications for Central European audience: The United Nations 2030 Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to which countries should implement the circular economy in order to move towards greater sustainability. In this context, European Union is key for this development, as it is one of the world's major power. This article aims to unify and uncover the available evidence on innovation in relation to the circular economy and to determine those aspects that remain unexplored or should be studied in more depth. By doing so, it will be able to continue to make progress in the framework of the circular economy, enabling the achievement of the ODS. In addition, the majority of the articles reviewed take place in Europe.

Keywords: circular economy; innovation; SDG (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: M14 O30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.18267/j.cebr.275

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