Traceability Models and Traceability Systems to Accelerate the Transition to a Circular Economy: A Systematic Review
Research and implementation efforts and investment in the circular economy are rising sharply. With the high stakes associated with achievements in the field, an increasing emphasis on evaluation, transparency and accountability are to be expected. All require high-quality data, methodologies and tools that are able to improve results and to assess and document the implementation processes and outcomes. A challenging key issue in the implementation of a circular economy is ensuring
... control and transparency within a network of parties. Traceability models and systems are vital pillars of such an endeavor, but a preliminary search of the available literature revealed a rather unstable and fragmented research field and practice. The objective of this systematic review was to examine those studies discussing traceability models and traceability systems while connecting traceability capacities and outputs to implement the principles of the circular economy. The literature databases were searched on 6 January 2020, with an update for the entire year of 2020. Overall, 49 studies were included. By addressing eight specific research questions, we found that a link between traceability and the circular economy is yet to be established. Sound research and practice documentation are required to establish evidence regarding this connection, including methodologies that are able to support the design and implementation of business- and lifecycle-oriented, value-based traceability models and traceability systems, along with thorough evaluation methods and tools incorporating economic, social and environmental perspectives.