A Sustainable Supply Chain Perspective in the Transition to Circular Cities

  • Carol Mungo
  • María-Laura Franco-García
Part of the Greening of Industry Networks Studies book series (GINS, volume 7)


Cities present a valuable opportunity for any form of transition processes in the post-global economy because of their unique ability to facilitate the interaction of extensive systems, structures and cultures within the same geographic space. In the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the theme of sustainable cities and communities is stand-alone goal 11, also known as the ‘Urban SDG’. It identifies the potential of cities to enable social, economic and environmental advancements to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. On the other hand, the concept of the circular economy and its restorative and regenerative nature by design presents practical and innovative opportunities for cities to retain the value of existing resources. At this point in time, there are extensive opportunities associated with the recovery of materials and resources across the value chain in a city. For instance, producers can retain the value of materials and the value chain by using recycled materials or using a leasing model rather than ownership. This will greatly reduce carbon footprints in the existing demand points in cities as well as in production, distribution, transportation and manufacturing. Consequently, the potential of cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the auspices of the 2015 Paris Agreement that aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change through circular economy business models and initiatives, is slowly featuring in academic discussions. Hence, this chapter identifies the nexus between circular economy and climate change mitigation for small and medium-sized cities (SMCs) in the context of sustainable supply chains. This chapter assesses SMCs in the Netherlands with a population range of between 50,000 and 250,000 namely Almere, Dordrecht, Zwolle, Haarlemmermeer and Venlo. Turin and The Hague (classified as large cities) are analysed as control cases to explain some findings that suggest the size of the city as the factor for disparities and/or similarities among cities. The ultimate goal of this chapter is to contribute to the global discussions on Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change by identifying opportunities for sustainable supply chains in the transition to circular cities.


Circular economy Circular cities Sustainable supply chain Collaborations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol Mungo
    • 1
  • María-Laura Franco-García
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS), Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM)University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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