Research Article

A fuzzy multicriteria group decision approach for circular business models prioritization

Rafael Ferro Munhoz Arantes; Lucas Gabriel Zanon; Lucas Daniel Del Rosso Calache; Ana Carolina Bertassini; Luiz César Ribeiro Carpinetti

Downloads: 0
Views: 589


Paper aims: Presents a new group decision approach for circular business models (CBMs) prioritization based on circular economy (CE) principles and indicators.

Originality: It was not found in the literature quantitative approaches to indicate which CBMs can be prioritized towards CE implementation.

Research method: Fuzzy AHP is applied to calculate the weights of the CE principles. Fuzzy TOPSIS is used to rank the CBMs. A pilot application demonstrates the applicability of the proposed approach.

Main findings: To perform equally on all dimensions of the circularity indicators, recovery by-products have a greater impact on CE implementation. Focusing on economic indicators, Product as a Service and Recovery By-Products should receive priority. Focusing on social indicators, Product as a Service is the most recommended CBM.

Implications for theory and practice: It was identified the CBMs that are most suitable for performance improvement regarding CE implementation, according to the organization’s dominant CE principles.


Circular economy, Circular Business Models, Multi-Criteria Decision Making, Fuzzy AHP, Fuzzy TOPSIS


Abdullah, L. (2013). Fuzzy multi criteria decision making and its applications: a brief review of category. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 97, 131-136.

Agrawal, R., Wankhede, V. A., Kumar, A., & Luthra, S. (2021). Analysing the roadblocks of circular economy adoption in the automobile sector: reducing waste and environmental perspectives. Business Strategy and the Environment, 30(2), 1051-1066.

Ali, Y., Jokhio, D. H., Dojki, A. A., Rehman, O. U., Khan, F., & Salman, A. (2021). Adoption of circular economy for food waste management in the context of a developing country. Waste Management & Research, 40(6), 734242X211038198.

Amiri, M., Hashemi-Tabatabaei, M., Ghahremanloo, M., Keshavarz-Ghorabaee, M., Zavadskas, E. K., & Salimi-Zavieh, S. G. (2022). Evaluating barriers and challenges of circular supply chains using a decision-making model based on rough sets. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 1-22.

Antikainen, M., & Valkokari, K. (2016). A framework for sustainable circular business model innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(7), 5-12.

Arponen, J., Juvonen, L., & Vanne, P. (2018). Circular economy business models for the manufacturing industry: Circular Economy Playbook for Finnish SMEs. SITRA.

Awasthi, A., Chauhan, S. S., & Omrani, H. (2011). Application of fuzzy TOPSIS in evaluating sustainable transportation systems. Expert Systems with Applications, 38(10), 12270-12280.

Barreiro‐Gen, M., & Lozano, R. (2020). How circular is the circular economy? Analysing the implementation of circular economy in organisations. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(8), 3484-3494.

Bertassini, A. C., Calache, L. D. D. R., Carpinetti, L. C. R., Ometto, A. R., & Gerolamo, M. C. (2022). CE-oriented culture readiness: an assessment approach based on maturity models and fuzzy set theories. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 31, 615-629.

Bertassini, A. C., Zanon, L. G., Azarias, J. G., Gerolam, M. C., & Omettoo, A. R. (2021a). Circular business ecosystem innovation: a guide for mapping stakeholders, capturing values, and finding new opportunities. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 436-448.

Bertassini, A. C., Ometto, A. R., Severengiz, S., & Gerolamo, M. C. (2021b). Circular economy and sustainability: the role of organizational behaviour in the transition journey. Business Strategy and the Environment, 30(7), 3160-3193.

Bocken, N. M., Weissbrod, I., & Tennant, M. (2016, April). Business model experimentation for sustainability. In International conference on sustainable design and manufacturing (pp. 297-306). Cham: Springer.

Bocken, N., Strupeit, L., Whalen, K., & Nußholz, J. (2019). A review and evaluation of circular business model innovation tools. Sustainability, 11(8), 2210.

British Standards Institution – BSI. (2017). BS 8001:2017. Framework for Implementing the Principles of the Circular Economy in Organizations e Guide. London: The British Standards Institution.

Büyüközkan, G., & Göçer, F. (2021). Evaluation of software development projects based on integrated pythagorean fuzzy methodology. Expert Systems with Applications, 183, 115355.

Büyüközkan, G., & Güler, M. (2021). A combined hesitant fuzzy MCDM approach for supply chain analytics tool evaluation. Applied Soft Computing, 112, 107812.

Caiado, R. G. G., Scavarda, L. F., Gavião, L. O., Ivson, P., Nascimento, D. L. M., & Garza-Reyes, J. A. (2021). A fuzzy rule-based industry 4.0 maturity model for operations and supply chain management. International Journal of Production Economics, 231, 107883.

Çelikbilek, Y., & Tüysüz, F. (2020). An in-depth review of theory of the TOPSIS method: An experimental analysis. Journal of Management Analytics, 7(2), 281-300.

Chang, D. Y. (1996). Applications of the extent analysis method on fuzzy AHP. European Journal of Operational Research, 95(3), 649-655.

Chang, P. T., & Hung, K. C. (2005). Applying the fuzzy-weighted-average approach to evaluate network security systems. Computers & Mathematics with Applications (Oxford, England), 49(11-12), 1797-1814.

Chang, P. T., Hung, K. C., Lin, K. P., & Chang, C. H. (2006). A comparison of discrete algorithms for fuzzy weighted average. IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems, 14(5), 663-675.

Chen, C. T. (2000). Extensions of the TOPSIS for group decision-making under fuzzy environment. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 114(1), 1-9.

Chen, D., Faibil, D., & Agyemang, M. (2020). Evaluating critical barriers and pathways to implementation of e-waste formalization management systems in Ghana: a hybrid BWM and fuzzy TOPSIS approach. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 27(35), 44561-44584. PMid:32772292.

Dede, G., Kamalakis, T., & Sphicopoulos, T. (2016). Theoretical estimation of the probability of weight rank reversal in pairwise comparisons. European Journal of Operational Research, 252(2), 587-600.

Deng, X., Li, W., & Liu, Y. (2021). Hesitant fuzzy portfolio selection model with score and novel hesitant semi-variance. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 184, 107879.

Dubois, D. J. (1980). Fuzzy sets and systems: theory and applications (Vol. 144). Cambridge: Academic Press.

Dwivedi, G., Srivastava, R. K., & Srivastava, S. K. (2018). A generalised fuzzy TOPSIS with improved closeness coefficient. Expert Systems with Applications, 96, 185-195.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation, & McKinsey & Company. (2014). Towards the circular economy: accelerating the scale-up across global supply chains. Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved in 2022, March 4, from

Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2012). Towards the circular economy: Economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition. Retrieved in 2022, March 4, from

Erol, I., Murat Ar, I., Peker, I., & Searcy, C. (2022). Alleviating the impact of the barriers to circular economy adoption through blockchain: an investigation using an integrated MCDM-based QFD with hesitant fuzzy linguistic term sets. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 165, 107962.

Ferasso, M., Beliaeva, T., Kraus, S., Clauss, T., & Ribeiro‐Soriano, D. (2020). Circular economy business models: the state of research and avenues ahead. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(8), 3006-3024.

Fidan, F. Ş., Aydoğan, E. K., & Uzal, N. (2021). An integrated life cycle assessment approach for denim fabric production using recycled cotton fibers and combined heat and power plant. Journal of Cleaner Production, 287, 125439.

Fonseca, L. M., Domingues, J., Pereira, M., Martins, F., & Zimon, D. (2018). Assessment of circular economy within Portuguese organizations. Sustainability, 10(7), 2521.

Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N. M., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). The Circular Economy–A new sustainability paradigm? Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, 757-768.

Genc, O., Kurt, A., Yazan, D. M., & Erdis, E. (2020). Circular eco-industrial park design inspired by nature: An integrated non-linear optimization, location, and food web analysis. Journal of Environmental Management, 270, 110866. PMid:32721312.

Govindan, K. (2022). Tunneling the barriers of blockchain technology in remanufacturing for achieving sustainable development goals: a circular manufacturing perspective. Business Strategy and the Environment, bse.3031.

Govindan, K., Nasr, A. K., Karimi, F., & Mina, H. (2022). Circular economy adoption barriers: An extended fuzzy best–worst method using fuzzy DEMATEL and Supermatrix structure. Business Strategy and the Environment, 31(4), 1566-1586.

Gue, I. H. V., Promentilla, M. A. B., Tan, R. R., & Ubando, A. T. (2020). Sector perception of circular economy driver interrelationships. Journal of Cleaner Production, 276, 123204.

Guh, Y. Y., Po, R. W., & Lee, E. S. (2008). The fuzzy weighted average within a generalized means function. Computers & Mathematics with Applications (Oxford, England), 55(12), 2699-2706.

Gupta, H., Kumar, A., & Wasan, P. (2021). Industry 4.0, cleaner production and circular economy: An integrative framework for evaluating ethical and sustainable business performance of manufacturing organizations. Journal of Cleaner Production, 295, 126253.

Haleem, A., Khan, S., Luthra, S., Varshney, H., Alam, M., & Khan, M. I. (2021). Supplier evaluation in the context of circular economy: a forward step for resilient business and environment concern. Business Strategy and the Environment, 30(4), 2119-2146.

Hopkinson, P., De Angelis, R., & Zils, M. (2020). Systemic building blocks for creating and capturing value from circular economy. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 155, 104672.

Husain, Z., Maqbool, A., Haleem, A., Pathak, R. D., & Samson, D. (2021). Analyzing the business models for circular economy implementation: a fuzzy TOPSIS approach. Operations Management Research, 14(3), 256-271.

Hwang, C. L., & Yoon, K. P. (1981). TOPSIS (technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution)–a multiple attribute decision making: multiple attribute decision making–methods and applications, a state-of-the-at survey. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Ikram, M., Zhang, Q., & Sroufe, R. (2020). Developing integrated management systems using an AHP‐Fuzzy VIKOR approach. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(6), 2265-2283.

Kahraman, C., Onar, S. C., & Oztaysi, B. (2015). Fuzzy multicriteria decision-making: a literature review. International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems, 8(4), 637-666.

Karuppiah, K., Sankaranarayanan, B., Ali, S. M., Jabbour, C. J. C., & Bhalaji, R. K. A. (2021). Inhibitors to circular economy practices in the leather industry using an integrated approach: implications for sustainable development goals in emerging economies. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 1554-1568.

Kazancoglu, Y., Ozkan-Ozen, Y. D., Mangla, S. K., & Ram, M. (2022). Risk assessment for sustainability in e-waste recycling in circular economy. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 24(4), 1145-1157.

Keshavarz Ghorabaee, M., Amiri, M., Zavadskas, E. K., & Antucheviciene, J. (2017). Supplier evaluation and selection in fuzzy environments: a review of MADM approaches. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istrazivanja, 30(1), 1073-1118.

Khan, F., & Ali, Y. (2022a). A facilitating framework for a developing country to adopt smart waste management in the context of circular economy. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 29(18), 26336-26351. PMid:34850345.

Khan, F., & Ali, Y. (2022b). Implementation of the circular supply chain management in the pharmaceutical industry. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 1-27. PMid:35035276.

Khan, S., & Haleem, A. (2020). Strategies to implement circular economy practices: a fuzzy DEMATEL approach. Journal of Industrial Integration and Management, 5(2), 253-269.

Kharola, S., Ram, M., Kumar Mangla, S., Goyal, N., Nautiyal, O. P., Pant, D., & Kazancoglu, Y. (2022). Exploring the green waste management problem in food supply chains: a circular economy context. Journal of Cleaner Production, 351, 131355.

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127, 221-232.

Klir, G., & Yuan, B. (1995). Fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic (Vol. 4). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Kravchenko, M., McAloone, T. C., & Pigosso, D. C. A. (2019). Implications of developing a tool for sustainability screening of circular economy initiatives. Procedia CIRP, 80, 625-630.

Kristoffersen, E., Mikalef, P., Blomsma, F., & Li, J. (2021). The effects of business analytics capability on circular economy implementation, resource orchestration, capability and firm performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 239, 108205.

Kumar, S., & Barman, A. G. (2021). Fuzzy TOPSIS and fuzzy VIKOR in selecting green suppliers for sponge iron and steel manufacturing. Soft Computing, 25(8), 6505-6525.

Lahane, S., & Kant, R. (2021). Evaluation and ranking of solutions to mitigate circular supply chain risks. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 27, 753-773.

Lee, Y., Hu, J., & Lim, M. K. (2021). Maximising the circular economy and sustainability outcomes: an end-of-life tyre recycling outlets selection model. International Journal of Production Economics, 232, 107965.

Lima-Junior, F. R., Osiro, L., & Carpinetti, L. C. R. (2014). A comparison between Fuzzy AHP and Fuzzy TOPSIS methods to supplier selection. Applied Soft Computing, 21, 194-209.

Lüdeke-Freund, F., Gold, S., & Bocken, N. M. P. (2018). A review and typology of circular economy business model patterns: circular economy business models. Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Mahpour, A. (2018). Prioritizing barriers to adopt circular economy in construction and demolition waste management. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 134, 216-227.

Maliene, V., Dixon-Gough, R., & Malys, N. (2018). Dispersion of relative importance values contributes to the ranking uncertainty: Sensitivity analysis of Multiple Criteria Decision-Making methods. Applied Soft Computing, 67, 286-298.

Malviya, R. K., Kant, R., & Gupta, A. D. (2018). Evaluation and selection of sustainable strategy for green supply chain management implementation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(4), 475-502.

Manninen, K., Koskela, S., Antikainen, R., Bocken, N., Dahlbo, H., & Aminoff, A. (2018). Do circular economy business models capture intended environmental value propositions? Journal of Cleaner Production, 171, 413-422.

Milios, L. (2021). Overarching policy framework for product life extension in a circular economy—A bottom‐up business perspective. Environmental Policy and Governance, 31(4), 330-346.

Moktadir, M. A., Rahman, T., Rahman, M. H., Ali, S. M., & Paul, S. K. (2018). Drivers to sustainable manufacturing practices and circular economy: a perspective of leather industries in Bangladesh. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174, 1366-1380.

Montanari, R., Micale, R., Bottani, E., Volpi, A., & La Scalia, G. (2021). Evaluation of routing policies using an interval-valued TOPSIS approach for the allocation rules. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 156, 107256.

Nădăban, S., Dzitac, S., & Dzitac, I. (2016). Fuzzy TOPSIS: a general view. Procedia Computer Science, 91, 823-831.

Nag, U., Sharma, S. K., & Govindan, K. (2021). Investigating drivers of circular supply chain with product-service system in automotive firms of an emerging economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 319, 128629.

Nara, E. O. B., Costa, M. B., Baierle, I. C., Schaefer, J. L., Benitez, G. B., Santos, L. M. A. L., & Benitez, L. B. (2021). Expected impact of industry 4.0 technologies on sustainable development: a study in the context of Brazil’s plastic industry. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 25, 102-122.

Oghazi, P., & Mostaghel, R. (2018). Circular business model challenges and lessons learned—An industrial perspective. Sustainability, 10(3), 739.

Onat, N. C., Gumus, S., Kucukvar, M., & Tatari, O. (2016). Application of the TOPSIS and intuitionistic fuzzy set approaches for ranking the life cycle sustainability performance of alternative vehicle technologies. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 6, 12-25.

Ortiz-Barrios, M., & Alfaro-Saiz, J. (2020). A hybrid fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making model to evaluate the overall performance of public emergency departments: A case study. International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making, 19(6), 1485-1548.

Ortiz-Barrios, M., Nugent, C., Cleland, I., Donnelly, M., & Verikas, A. (2020). Selecting the most suitable classification algorithm for supporting assistive technology adoption for people with dementia: a multicriteria framework. Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, 27(1-2), 20-38.

Padilla-Rivera, A., do Carmo, B. B. T., Arcese, G., & Merveille, N. (2021). Social circular economy indicators: Selection through fuzzy delphi method. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 26, 101-110.

Palczewski, K., & Sałabun, W. (2019). The fuzzy TOPSIS applications in the last decade. Procedia Computer Science, 159, 2294-2303.

Pamucar, D., Deveci, M., Gokasar, I., Işık, M., & Zizovic, M. (2021). Circular economy concepts in urban mobility alternatives using integrated DIBR method and fuzzy Dombi CoCoSo model. Journal of Cleaner Production, 323, 129096.

Pieroni, M. P. P., McAloone, T. C., & Pigosso, D. C. A. (2019). Business model innovation for circular economy and sustainability: A review of approaches. Journal of Cleaner Production, 215, 198-216.

Prosman, E. J., & Sacchi, R. (2018). New environmental supplier selection criteria for circular supply chains: Lessons from a consequential LCA study on waste recovery. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, 2782-2792.

Rabta, B. (2020). An Economic Order Quantity inventory model for a product with a circular economy indicator. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 140, 106215.

Raut, R., Cheikhrouhou, N., & Kharat, M. (2017). Sustainability in the banking industry: A strategic multi‐criterion analysis. Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(4), 550-568.

Richardson, J. (2008). The business model: an integrative framework for strategy execution. Strategic Change, 17(5-6), 133-144.

Rossi, E., Bertassini, A. C., Ferreira, C. S., Neves do Amaral, W. A., & Ometto, A. R. (2020). Circular economy indicators for organizations considering sustainability and business models: plastic, textile and electro-electronic cases. Journal of Cleaner Production, 247, 119137.

Saaty, T. L. (1980). The analytic hierarchy process. New York: McGraw Hill.

Saaty, T. L. (2008). Decision making with the analytic hierarchy process. International Journal of Services Sciences, 1(1), 83-98.

Sassanelli, C., Rosa, P., Rocca, R., & Terzi, S. (2019). Circular economy performance assessment methods: a systematic literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 229, 440-453.

Sehnem, S., Pandolfi, A., & Gomes, C. (2019). Is sustainability a driver of the circular economy?. Social Responsibility Journal, 16(3), 329-347.

Shahidzadeh, M. H., & Shokouhyar, S. (2022). Toward the closed-loop sustainability development model: a reverse logistics multi-criteria decision-making analysis. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 1-93.

Shete, P. C., Ansari, Z. N., & Kant, R. (2020). A pythagorean fuzzy AHP approach and its application to evaluate the enablers of sustainable supply chain innovation. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 23, 77-93.

Shukla, A., Agarwal, P., Rana, R. S., & Purohit, R. (2017). Applications of TOPSIS algorithm on various manufacturing processes: a review. Materials Today: Proceedings, 4(4), 5320-5329.

Suchek, N., Fernandes, C. I., Kraus, S., Filser, M., & Sjögrén, H. (2021). Innovation and the circular economy: a systematic literature review. Business Strategy and the Environment, 30(8), 3686-3702.

Sultana, I., Ahmed, I., & Azeem, A. (2015). An integrated approach for multiple criteria supplier selection combining Fuzzy Delphi, Fuzzy AHP & Fuzzy TOPSIS. Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems, 29(4), 1273-1287.

Tariq, H., Ali, Y., Khan, A. U., Petrillo, A., & De Felice, F. (2021). Sustainable production of diapers and their potential outputs for the Pakistani market in the circular economy perspective. The Science of the Total Environment, 769, 145084. PMid:33486174.

Tavassoli, M., Saen, R. F., & Zanjirani, D. M. (2020). Assessing sustainability of suppliers: a novel stochastic-fuzzy DEA model. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 21, 78-91.

Torkabadi, A. M., Pourjavad, E., & Mayorga, R. V. (2018). An integrated fuzzy MCDM approach to improve sustainable consumption and production trends in supply chain. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 16, 99-109.

Vegter, D., van Hillegersberg, J., & Olthaar, M. (2020). Supply chains in circular business models: Processes and performance objectives. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 162, 105046.

Vieira, J. G. V., Toso, M. R., da Silva, J. E. A. R., & Ribeiro, P. C. C. (2017). An AHP-based framework for logistics operations in distribution centres. International Journal of Production Economics, 187, 246-259.

Wan, S. P., Wang, Q. Y., & Dong, J. Y. (2013). The extended VIKOR method for multi-attribute group decision making with triangular intuitionistic fuzzy numbers. Knowledge-Based Systems, 52, 65-77.

Wang, Z., Ran, Y., Chen, Y., Yu, H., & Zhang, G. (2020). Failure mode and effects analysis using extended matter-element model and AHP. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 140, 106233.

Wanke, P., Pestana Barros, C., & Chen, Z. (2015). An analysis of Asian airlines efficiency with two-stage TOPSIS and MCMC generalized linear mixed models. International Journal of Production Economics, 169, 110-126.

Yadav, S. K., Joseph, D., & Jigeesh, N. (2018). A review on industrial applications of TOPSIS approach. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 30(1), 23-28.

Zadeh, L.A. (1965). Fuzzy sets. Inf. Control, 8(3), 338-353.

Zanon, L. G., Munhoz Arantes, R. F., Calache, L. D. D. R., & Carpinetti, L. C. R. (2020). A decision making model based on fuzzy inference to predict the impact of SCOR® indicators on customer perceived value. International Journal of Production Economics, 223, 107520.

Zhao, H., Zhao, H., & Guo, S. (2017). Evaluating the comprehensive benefit of eco-industrial parks by employing multi-criteria decision making approach for circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 142, 2262-2276.

Zyoud, S. H., & Fuchs-Hanusch, D. (2017). A bibliometric-based survey on AHP and TOPSIS techniques. Expert Systems with Applications, 78, 158-181.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

62bb0f73a953950acf13e232 production Articles
Links & Downloads


Share this page
Page Sections