How does circular economy work in industry? Strategies, opportunities, and trends in scholarly literature uri icon


  • The concept of circular economy (CE) has been a topic of interest for researchers, managers, and policy makers. It is recognised as the latest attempt to balance industrial development, environmental health, and economic growth. Although academic literature in this field has been gradually developing, it is limited in its analysis in terms of economic and competitive opportunity in the face of different strategies. This article provides a holistic view by mapping the literature on strategies-based EC for the economic competitiveness of companies through a systematic literature review supported on the co-citation bibliometric technique. To this end, 126 articles were selected and organised into 5 clusters: (i) strategic applications of CE; (ii) mediating factors for implementing CE strategies; (iii) drivers of CE strategies; (iv) determinants used to promote CE; and (v) emerging digital technologies used to enable CE practices. The results of this study help practitioners assess EC from a new point of view and design competitive strategies for a circular model without neglecting economic growth and competitive advantage, in addition to serving as crucial evidence for policymakers, helping them leverage policies to circumvent sustainability concerns and promote circularity. A future agenda for detailed cluster-based research is put forward based on the identified gaps, including a framework to help managers set priorities to escape the zero-profit trend associated with green and sustainable practices.
  • This work is financed by national funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I. P., under the project "UIDB/04630/2020".

publication date

  • January 1, 2023