A systematic literature review of the transition to the circular economy in business organizations: Obstacles, catalysts and ambivalences


We conducted a systematic literature review of barriers and catalysts to circular economy implementation in companies. With 69 articles covering the topic, in this review, we identified clear catalysts (such as expected economic benefits and managerial support) and barriers (such as uncertainty of outcomes and shortage of resources). In addition, we noticed there are ambivalent factors that, in certain circumstances, promote CE implementation while in other circumstances hinder it. Examples of the ambivalent factors are regulation, design and collaboration.

The results show that guidance and clarifications concerning the ambivalent factors are needed among companies, and further research on aspects especially the ambivalent factors is needed.

Authors: Milla Sarja, Tiina Onkila & Marileena Mäkelä, University of Jyväskylä

Published: Journal of Cleaner Production

Potential beneficiaries of the results: Ministries, companies, research and development organizations

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Milla Sarja