Port clusters are expected to play a significant role in the transition towards a circular economy, both at the level of facilitating regional and global transport within circular production chains, as well as hosting circular activities in port areas. There is strong evidence that significant investments in the circular economy (CE) are being made in port areas, albeit without much knowledge on their impacts. To ensure an efficient use of port resources in view of this transition, these impacts should be adequately monitored. Research on circular economy indicators for ports is still in an exploratory stage, characterized by an absence of in-depth research on the development of port-related circular economy indicators. This paper focuses on the development of a comprehensive set of relevant and feasible CE indicators, which aim to support port managing bodies (PMBs) as well as port stakeholders to monitor the CE transition taking place. Through multimethod qualitative research, including content analysis, focus groups, a gap analysis and a qualitative survey, an actionable list of CE 12 indicators for ports was developed. Seven of which are highly feasible and five of which have medium feasibility in terms of stakeholder relevance and ease of implementation. Findings related to (1) the overall limited CE ambition levels of PMBs and (2) the difference in the values of some indicators for different port typologies are also discussed. The value of this study for practitioners lies in providing them with an actionable set of KPIs which can support their efforts and communication related to their CE transition.
Keywords: circular economy, monitor, indicator development, port, performance, sustainability
Cite as: Faut, L., Soyeur, F., Haezendonck, E., Dooms, M., de Langen, P., 2023. Ensuring circular strategy implementation: The development of circular economy indicators for ports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.martra.2023.100087