Value Chain Models and Circular Economy

Exploratory Results of a Systematic Literature Review

  • Pedro Almeida Universidade de Aveiro
  • Carlos Ferreira LASI/IEETA, DEGEIT, University of Aveiro
  • Irina Saur-Amaral ISCA, University of Aveiro, NECE-UBI, Universidade da Beira Interior


The transition from the dominant value chain models based on "Take, Make, Use, and Dispose" to the Circular Economy (CE) is gaining global traction as a sustainable development approach. With a growing global population surpassing 7.7 billion people, the need for sustainable practices that safeguard resources and protect vulnerable communities is becoming increasingly urgent. This article presents a systematic literature review conducted to assess to which extent researchers are addressing the adaptation of value chain models to the emerging concepts of CE, using a structured methodology that involved three stages: definition of the research focus, search for relevant literature, and reporting the results, being the goal to provide a comprehensive and unbiased analysis. Based on a final working sample of 159 articles extracted from Scopus and Web of Science Core Collection, we discover there is a higher interest from the scientific community to analyze traditional value chain models and relate them with the new concepts introduced by circular economies, revealing an active engagement of the scientific community in addressing the challenges posed by consumers and policy regulators to promote a sustainable society. Furthermore, the results suggest a rising trend of the combination of traditional value chain models with strategies and objectives of the CE practices.