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Prioritization of sustainability indicators for promoting the circular economy: The case of developing countries

Ngan, Sue Lin and How, Bing Shen and Teng, Sin Yong and Promentilla, Michael Angelo B. and Yatim, Puan and Er, Ah Choy and Lam, Hon Loong (2019): Prioritization of sustainability indicators for promoting the circular economy: The case of developing countries. Published in: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews , Vol. 111, No. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (1 September 2019): pp. 314-331.

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The concept of the circular economy has gained well-recognition across the world for the past decades. With the heightening risk of the impact of climate change, resource scarcity to meet the increasing world population, the need to transition to a more sustainable development model is urgent. The circular economy is often cited as one of the best solutions to support sustainable development. However, the diffusion of this concept in the industrial arena is still relatively slow, particularly in the developing country, which collectively exerts high potential to be the world’s largest economies and workforce. It is crucial to make sure that the development of these nations is sustainable and not bearing on the cost of future generation. Thus, this work aims to provide a comprehensive review of the circular economy concept in developing country context. Furthermore, a novel model is proposed by adopting Fuzzy Analytics Network Process (FANP) to quantify the priority weights of the sustainability indicators to provide guidelines for the industry stakeholders at different stages of industry cycle to transition toward the circular economy. The results revealed that improvement in economic performance and public acceptance are they key triggers to encourage stakeholders for sustainable development. The outcomes serve as a reference to enhance the overall decision-making process of industry stakeholders. Local authorities can adopt the recommendations to design policy and incentive that encourage the adoption of circular economy in real industry operation to spur up economic development, without neglecting environmental well-being and jeopardizing social benefits.

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