Exploring the association between circular economy strategies and green jobs in European companies

J Environ Manage. 2021 Nov 1;297:113437. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113437. Epub 2021 Aug 2.


This paper focuses on the association between the probability and the number of green jobs at the firm level and the circular economy (CE) strategies related to the 4Rs approach (reduce, reuse, recycle and redesign) implemented by companies located in the European Union. Factors related to resources and technological and organizational capabilities are also considered. Using a zero-inflated negative binomial model (ZINB), results confirm that firms involved in CE have a higher probability to generate green jobs. Reusing, redesign and reducing practices are positively related to the number of green jobs. When we consider separately different CE actions, energy efficiency and minimising waste have a positive relationship with the number of green jobs, while recycling practices are not relevant. Reusing materials and redesign are both positively associated with the probability to have green employment and with the number of green jobs. Concerning firm resources and capabilities, larger firms have a higher probability to be in the group of firms with green jobs. As well, firms' technological capabilities, openness to external sources of knowledge and green products and services specialization are crucial not only for the probability but also for having a greater number of green jobs.

Keywords: 4Rs approach; Circular economy; Green jobs; Radical vs. incremental innovations; Technological and organizational capabilities.

MeSH terms

  • Employment
  • European Union
  • Models, Statistical
  • Recycling*
  • Technology*