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International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy    

E-Proceedings ISBN: 978-1-912532-05-6

St Cross College, University of Oxford, United Kingdom



Maping the Circular Economy Perormance Indicators:a Global Examination



Igor Alvarez Etxeberria (1), Eduardo Ortas (2) and Ainhoa Garayar (1) 


1. University of Basque Country, Spain

2. University of Zaragoza, Spain



Paper Abstract

Several environmental concerns are increasingly jeopardizing our earth bio systems (Rockström et al., 2009; Jackson, 2009; Meadows et al., 2004; WWF, 2014, Geissdoerfer et. al., 2016). Today there is a fact that the current level of environmental impacts must be reduced substantially on a global level if the earth’s limited carrying capacity (Hörisch et al., 2015). In that context, environmental pollution (water, air, solid) is becoming acute but in the same way global resource scarcity (Lieder and Rahid, 2016), millions of tons of materials are exploited from the earth crust annually and processed into consumer and investment goods (Kral et al, 2014). To address these and other sustainability problems, in the last few years, especially in Asia (Ghisellini et al. 2016), the concept of the Circular Economy has gained increasingly relevance on national governments agendas (Brennan et al., 2015; Geissdoerfer et. al., 2016).
The term ‘circular economy’ was coined in the 1980s, and the literature (Andersen, 2007; Ghisellini et al., 2016; Su et al., 2013, Geissdoerfer et. al., 2016) attribute its genesis to Pearce and Turner´s (1989) concept, who build it on previous studies of ecological economist Boulding (1966). Opposite to linear economy based on a simple, linear process (extract, produce, consume and trash) with little or no attention to the pollution generated at each step (Sauvé et al 2016), this concept, promotes the adoption of closing-the-loop production (Ghisellini et al. 2016), base on a material symbiosis between different companies and production processes (Andersen, 2007), by economyenvironment interactions. Those intercompany relationships could encourage reduction of the value of natural capital caused by pollution from waste (Murray et al 2015). The open-ended system converts to a circular system when the relationship between resource use and waste residuals is considered in the dosing of the production process (Andersen, 2007). The main point of the CE concept is to capitalize on material flow recycling and to balance economic growth and development with environmental and resource use (Zhu et al, 2010).
In words of Geissdoerfer (et. al., 2016), the CE has received increased attention in academic research with a range of reviews on the topic (Andersen, 2007, Ghisellini et al., 2016, Lieder and Rashid, 2016; Su et al., 2013). Specific areas of attention are closed loop value and supply chains (Guide and Van Wassenhove, 2009; Wells and Seitz, 2005; Govindan et al., 2015; Stindt and Sahamie, 2014; Zhu et al, 2010), circular business models (Bocken et al., 2016) and circular product design (Bakker et al., 2014). However there is a lack in the literate in studies to try to analyze how companies are managing their contribution to archive EC goals, and concretely witch performance drivers are using and disclosing. Together with this gap of the literature, more and more countries in the world have taken measures to promote the circular economy (Heck, 2006, George et al 2015), and evolved differently in light of diverse cultural and social and political systems (Winans, et al. 2017). To monitor the development of the process, the different public and private voices invited academic and policy ‘experts’ to develop a set of circular economy indicators broadly based on the principles of ‘reduction, reuse and recycling (Geng et a., 2012).
In that sense our paper contribute to the literature mapping the activities that companies from different countries are developing related with CE issues. Proper development strategies and evaluation models are necessary so that sustainable transitions can occur (Ohnishi, et al., 2017). Ghisellini et al. (2016) stay it would be extremely important to evaluate the evolution of projects and legislation, overall nations, this would provide feedback information to policy makers about the soundness of the policies adopted by far. For that purpose after the paper follows this way, section second introduce in the literature review related with EC indicators and EC characteristics by country, the third section describe the method use to develop the EC indicator index and finally we summaries the conclusions limitations and future lines of research 

Paper Keywords
Circular Economy, KPi, country diferences, institutional approach.
Corresponding author Biography


Associated Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of the University of Basque Country, teaching Consolidation Accounting, Accounting Analysis, Accounting and Tax, Financial Accounting and Cost Accounting from 1997 until now. 


Research Fields: CSR, Circular Economy, Sustainable Development, Social and Environmental Performance, Environmental management


  • Member of the Steering Committee of EMAN Europe, since 2012 until now.
  • Member of the Board of the Basque Economist Association 2003-2010. 
  • Member technical jury of the Spanish Prize for the Best Sustainability Report of Spanish Companies 2007-2009.
  • Vice Director of the Summer Courses of the University of Basque Country 2014-now.
The International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’18)