Circular Economy and Sustainability Capability: The case of H&M

Mohammad Bakhtiar Rana, Syed Ahmed Tajuddin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


While sustainability has been a central focus of the multinational corporations and global value chain (GVC) literature, there has been a lack of understanding of sustainability capability (SC) and its link to the circular economy (CE) practice. Our study conceptualises SC in light of the CE and derives a framework to measure a firm’s SC in the GVC. Drawing on the three parameters, a) perfect duty, b) specific goals for economic, social and environmental sustainability, and c) a well-defined structure and strategies, we develop a framework to measure SC, leading to six different levels of SC: i) perfectly sustainable corporation, ii) imperfectly sustainable corporation, iii) occasionally sustainable corporation, iv) consistently sustainable corporation in selective areas, v) inconsistently sustainable corporation in selective areas, and vi) occasionally sustainable corporation in selective areas. In addition, we present a discussion of the challenges associated with SC achievement and CE practices. Our proposed framework is validated through the case of H&M. Our study bridges sustainability, the CE, and firm capability, thereby contributing to sustainable strategic management in the global value chain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUpgrading the Global Garment Industry : Internationalization, Capabilities and Sustainability
EditorsMohammad B Rana, Matthew M.C. Allen
Number of pages30
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication dateMay 2021
ISBN (Print)9781789907643
ISBN (Electronic)9781789907650
Publication statusPublished - May 2021
SeriesNew Perspectives on the Modern Corporation series

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Mohammad B. Rana and Matthew M.C. Allen 2021.


  • Circular Economy
  • sustainability capability
  • Strategy
  • Global value chain
  • Multinational companies
  • garments industry
  • circular economy
  • Internationalisation
  • supplier internationalization, garments, global value chain, business model, institutions, entrepreneurial capability


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