Investigation of the relationship between circular economy practices and circular economy outcomes in the manufacturing sector

Alexander Ganzi

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Abstract

The circular economy has gained increasing academic and industrial interest over the last years and especially in the manufacturing sector it is seen as an effective strategy to lower the environmental burden and still be able to be competitive through new opportunities the circular economy brings with it. However, due to the great extent of research performed in this field of study, the practices, policies and outcomes get mixed up with other environmental or ecological approaches. This study investigates the relationship between certain circular economy practices and circular economy outcomes. Through a systematic literature review, the most commonly mentioned practices and outcomes, which qualify as circular, have been identified. Based on the resource-based view (RBV) two hypotheses were formulated regarding the relationship between recycling and redesign with five circular economy outcomes. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to indicate significant correlations between the practices and the outcomes. The data used in the regression analysis derives from the EIKON database and contains data regarding circular economy practices, firm size and location and several quantitative outcome variables of 447 manufacturing companies all over the world. The results show that recycling has a significant relation with the reduction of energy consumption and the increase of the recycling ratio. While the redesign strategy shares this positive significance regarding the recycling ratio, further results also indicate that redesign leads to a significant reduction of waste and CO2 emissions. This is due to the reason that, unlike recycling, redesign is a prevention strategy, so the generation of waste and emissions is already prohibited in the design phase of the products. These findings suggest that circular economy practices can be an effective method to target certain indicators and benefit from the increase of circularity. This study contributes to the circular economy theory by providing evidence for a significant relationship between circular economy practices and circular economy outcomes, which can be used by manufacturers to implement in their operations or policymakers to introduce new rules based on well-grounded scientific research.
Translated title of the contributionUntersuchung des Zusammenhangs zwischen den Maßnahmen der Kreislaufwirtschaft und den Auswirkungen der Kreislaufwirtschaft in der produzierenden Industrie
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDipl.-Ing.
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Woschank, Manuel, Supervisor (internal)
Award date28 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

no embargo

Keywords

  • circular economy
  • circular economy practices
  • Logistics 5.0
  • manufacturing industry
  • sustainable logistics

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