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A systematic literature review on circular economy performance assessment in public sector organizations

Droege, Hinrika; Raggi, Andrea; Ramos, Tomas


Hinrika Droege

Andrea Raggi

Tomas Ramos


Volker Mauerhofer

Claire Lea
Project Manager


Circular economy (CE) is seen as one key strategy to a more sustainable paradigm and to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to their role-model function, public sector organizations are expected to lead the transition to sustainable development not only by setting the agenda but also by improving their own organizational sustainability through the implementation of CE practices. Assessment can ease the integration of CE efforts, and it has been increasingly implemented in public sector organizations. Despite this trend, there is no comprehensive review of existing CE assessment approaches either in public or in similar service sector organizations. This chapter aims to bridge this gap by providing a systematic overview and analysis of 27 existing CE assessment approaches (1) for public sector and (2) service sector organizations, as well as for (3) CE assessments that can be applied in any organization. The findings show that there is no commonly accepted and standardized approach to assess CE efforts of public or related organizations and practitioners, who have little guidance. Existing assessment approaches in public organizations focus either on management areas, such as procurement, or on services, such as higher education. In the service sector and related organizations, there are approaches to support CE assessment at the entire organizational level, covering more areas. Overall, the dominant CE assessment method is the Life Cycle Assessment. Crucially, whilst CE assessments are related to sustainability assessments, this link is underdeveloped. This research contributes to the nascent body of CE assessment literature by shedding a light on the so far neglected public and service sectors. It further helps public sector practitioners to depart from existing assessment efforts when developing new approaches.


Droege, H., Raggi, A., & Ramos, T. (2021). A systematic literature review on circular economy performance assessment in public sector organizations. In V. Mauerhofer (Ed.), The Role of Law in Governing Sustainability. London: Routledge.

Online Publication Date May 30, 2021
Publication Date May 31, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 13, 2022
Publisher Routledge
Book Title The Role of Law in Governing Sustainability
Chapter Number 13
ISBN 9780367746322
Public URL