Shedding light on the preconditions for circular economy: Evidence from SMEs in the agri-food sector

Author/s Francesco Avallone, Costanza Di Fabio, Shekerta Aliu, Elisa Roncagliolo
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2023/3 Language English
Pages 23 P. 141-163 File size 352 KB
DOI 10.3280/MACO2023-003007
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Despite the EU's commitment to promoting the transition towards the circular economy (CE), implementation continues to face significant constraints within small firms, which represent 99% of all EU businesses. This study deals with the implementation of CE in SMEs to understand their perceptions of CE and assess the firm-level features obstructing transition. We present evidence from 58 inter-views with 37 Italian agri-food firms. Evidence suggests a dichotomy between larger SMEs, which implement CE to pursue economic advantages, and smaller ones. Overall, a lack of a strategic approach to CE emerges, as well as several ob-stacles to circular transition (e.g., lack of technical expertise, effective networks and practical guidance). Our findings suggest the importance of (i) disseminating accounting and measurement tools among SMEs, (ii) working to create circular networks, and (iii) developing tailor-made guidance.

Keywords: Circular Economy, Firm-level obstacles, SMEs, Agri-food firms.

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Francesco Avallone, Costanza Di Fabio, Shekerta Aliu, Elisa Roncagliolo, Shedding light on the preconditions for circular economy: Evidence from SMEs in the agri-food sector in "MANAGEMENT CONTROL" 3/2023, pp 141-163, DOI: 10.3280/MACO2023-003007