Shortcomings of Transforming a Local Circular Economy System through Industrial Symbiosis: A Case Study in Spanish SMEs.
Keywords: 
Circular economy
Industrial symbiosis
SMEs
Implementation
Issue Date: 
2020
Publisher: 
MDPI
ISSN: 
2071-1050
Citation: 
Rincon-Moreno, J.A.(John Anderson), Ormazabal-Goenaga, M. (Marta), Álvarez-Sánchez-Arjona, M.J.(Maria Jesús), Jaca-Aguirre, C.(Carmen). "Shortcomings of Transforming a Local Circular Economy System through Industrial Symbiosis: A Case Study in Spanish SMEs." Sustainability, 12(20), 2020, 8423.
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 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.

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