Towards a Circular Economy: The Role of Dutch Logistics Industries and Governments

Authors: Nicole van Buren, Marjolein Demmers, Rob van der Heijden and Frank Witlox

Date of publish: July 2016

Why did we select this research?

This paper focuses on the Dutch logistics industry and how this industry can contribute to the broader Dutch agenda to realize a more circular economy. The article digs into the specific transition agenda for the logistics industry in relation to a circular economy, the barriers that may exist which might hamper such a transition, and how public policy-makers are dealing with and can tackle these barriers.

Key findings:

  • Circular economy is a system change that is necessary because it will make Europe less dependent on raw materials (European economics will benefit and the environmental problems of Europe will be reduced).
  • Institutional and economic barriers have to be taken down and at the same time, consumers, producers and logistics companies have to be encouraged and supported in changing their social and personal behavior.
  • Communication of the success and advantages of those initiatives is essential to make the system change work.
  • Overall, in The Netherlands, more and more companies, authorities, citizens and research institutions are working intensively together trying to implement the circular economy, which has resulted in interesting new initiatives (behavior change). 


van Buren, N., Demmers, M., van der Heijden, R., & Witlox, F. (2016). Towards a circular economy: The role of Dutch logistics industries and governments. Sustainability, 8(7), 647.