Transitioning to a circular economy: lessons from the wood industry

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Using a soft-hard continuum of drivers and barriers, this research seeks to explain wood companies' adoption of circular economy (CE) practices. Design/methodology/approach: Multiple interviews, complemented by secondary documents and site observations were used to investigate three wood-based companies that have adopted CE practices. The 10R framework and soft-hard continuum are used to guide data analysis. Findings: The adoption of 10R practices were explained by soft-factor incentives of leaders' values and vision and openness for innovation, all within a regulatory void, and eventually overcome hard-factor barriers of process development, supply chain capability and customer behaviours at product end-of-life. Practical implications: Crucial for CE model adoption are leaders' positive attitudes, subsequently grown across the companies. The 10Rs are a prompt for CE practice adoption to capture and retain value and generate revenue. Collaboration across the supply chain, including customers and other value capture companies (e.g. repurposing companies), is essential to maximise value retention. Government should play an increased soft-factor incentive regulatory role and support CE practices to overcome hard-factor barriers. Originality/value: This study contributes an explanation of CE adoption within a relatively unsupported context. Despite the regulatory void, CE practice adoption was driven by leader values. To achieve their vision and overcome the numerous barriers, suppliers and customers required a large investment in education. Indeed, customer behaviour, previously thought to be an incentive for CE adoption, is also identified as a barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-610
Number of pages29
JournalThe International Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2023


  • Circular economy
  • Leadership values
  • Regulatory void
  • Supply chains
  • Sustainable manufacturing

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