Redesigning traditional linear supply chains into circular supply chains - a study into its challenges

Roy, Tarun, Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo, Kumar, Vikas, Kumar, Anil and Agrawal, Rohit (2022) Redesigning traditional linear supply chains into circular supply chains - a study into its challenges. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 31. pp. 113-126. ISSN 2352-5509


Transitioning to a Circular Economy (CE) is considered the most promising way to achieve economic and environmental sustainability. However, companies and governments are faced with challenges in redesigning existing linear supply chains (SCs) into circular supply chains (CSCs). Although previous research has tried to identify challenges in the implementation of CE in their own specific contexts, the literature lacks a systematic identification and validation of challenges to transition to circular supply chain management (CSCM). This study identifies the key barriers to the redesign of SCs into CSCs in the global manufacturing sector and develops a broad classification to facilitate their mitigation. An extensive review of the state-of-the-art literature on CSCM identified a list of 20 barriers plaguing manufacturing firms and impeding the transition of their linear SCs into CSCs. The barriers were analysed through 200 responses received from experts in the fields of CE and supply chain management using a questionnaire-based survey. The findings of the study suggest significant restraints towards CSCs implementation owing to the lack of incentives and policies, and product complexity. Moreover, the study of the broadly classified barriers such as standardisation and legal barriers, and financial and economic barriers indicate substantial similarities between the results and findings of the extant literature thereby implying significant alignment between the industry and the academia regarding the subject. This work is useful in formulating strategies to redesign CSCs, and helps researchers and practitioners to understand the challenges in implementing CSCs.

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