Circular Business Processes in the State-of-the-Practice: A Survey Study

Tanja Van Engelenhoven, Ayalew Kassahun*, Bedir Tekinerdogan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increasing global environmental concerns, we continue to consume large amounts of products with little regard to what happens before, during, and after their use. Roughly one-third of the food produced is wasted. Because the world’s population is expected to grow to 10 billion by 2050, adopting circular economy practices will become essential. The transition towards a circular economy requires adopting business processes that support circular economy practices across supply chains. Currently, the SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference) model is the most widely used, and widely known, approach for studying and evaluating supply chain business processes. It is, however, unclear to what extent circular principles are included in the SCOR model. Past studies indicating missing processes for circular supply chain management in the SCOR model have made limited efforts in capturing the current state-of-the-practice. We conducted an online survey of 60 companies engaged in 14 different types of economic activities to study the SCOR level 2 business processes adopted in practice. In addition to the 22 level 2 business processes documented in SCOR, we identified six additional level 2 circular business processes that the respondents recognized as being commonly applied within their businesses. The results clearly show that the current SCOR model does not fully represent circular business processes in the state-of-the-practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13307
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Circular economy
  • SCOR
  • Supply chain business processes
  • Sustainability


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