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Article dans une revue Journal of Cleaner Production Année : 2023

Sufficiency-based circular business models: An established retailers’ perspective


Taking on the much-criticized concepts of green growth, bioeconomy, and efficiency, both sufficiency and, in certain circumstances, the circular economy, are presented as potential new paradigms that can play a central role in a transition towards a stronger sustainability and enable humanity to remain within planetary boundaries. In this context, this study aims to identify new sufficiency practices that have been adopted by retailers and to assess to what extent these practices have transformed their traditional business model, thus providing useful insights to practitioners, policymakers and the nascent academic literature on the topic. Through a combination of action research and case studies of the French actors Fnac-Darty and Decathlon, this article emphasizes that retailers may try to slow material and value loops by assessing products’ repairability and durability and informing customers through a specific index, for certain products or more globally their overall product portfolio, but also by using such indexes in eco-design requirements to suppliers, supplier selection processes, and product purchasing policies. By favoring the most repairable products and excluding the least durable ones, retailers can also improve their value proposition to customers. Through concrete examples, this study also shows that sufficiency-based business models can be scaled up and describes some of the associated processes. On a less optimistic note, certain limitations of the observed ongoing upscaling processes are highlighted, amongst which are the limited number of retailers that have started this process, the limited contribution of these new practices to overall value creation and capture at the firm level, and clear evidence of rebound effects.
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hal-04391545, version 1 (21-05-2024)


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Rémi Beulque, Helen Micheaux, Joël Ntsondé, Franck Aggeri, Chloé Steux. Sufficiency-based circular business models: An established retailers’ perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2023, 429, pp.139431. ⟨10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.139431⟩. ⟨hal-04391545⟩
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Dernière date de mise à jour le 16/06/2024
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