A systems perspective on social indicators for circular supply chains

Hidalgo-Carvajal, David and Picanco Rodrigues, Vinicius and Mejía-Argueta, Christopher and Salinas-Navarro, David E.; (2023) A systems perspective on social indicators for circular supply chains. In: The Social Dimensions of the Circular Economy. Greening of Industry Network Studies (GINS), 10 . Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 27-52. ISBN 9783031254369 (https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25436-9_2)

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The overarching paradigm of circular economy has fundamentally challenged the established, linear supply chains across several industries and geographies. While this new paradigm has been increasingly driving transitions toward circular supply chains, its social potential and implications have not earned as much attention. Within this context, we conceptualize social issues in circular supply chains as complex systems due to their high levels of interconnectedness among intricate variables. We compile extant social indicators prescribed by specialized literature to propose a classification scheme for the social performance measurement of circular supply chains. The classification uses the concept of a system’s leverage points and their effect on the many actors and stakeholders across supply chains, from companies and non-governmental organizations to communities and public agencies. Scholars, practitioners, and policymakers may apply the classification scheme to advance the measurement techniques and arguments around social externalities, both negative and positive, generated by the widespread diffusion of circular supply chain systems. We highlight these key managerial insights in a practical example.