Developing a Circular Economy through remanufacturing Refrigerated Display Cabinets: An investigation into the behaviours of stakeholders in the UK Retail Refrigeration Sector

PhD Thesis

Muranko, Z. (2020). Developing a Circular Economy through remanufacturing Refrigerated Display Cabinets: An investigation into the behaviours of stakeholders in the UK Retail Refrigeration Sector. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Engineering
AuthorsMuranko, Z.
TypePhD Thesis

The Retail Refrigeration Industry currently operates in a linear system, where Refrigerated Display Cabinets (RDCs) are manufactured using material and energy intensive processes, and are commonly disposed of at their end-of-life, which is unsustainable and causes several environmental and socioeconomic issues. This in conjunction with an increasing demand on resources, necessitates an alternative Circular Economy through more resource-efficient industrial processes such as remanufacturing.
Remanufacturing can prolong the life of components from old RDCs, by reusing them in the reproduction of RDCs. However, in the Retail Refrigeration Industry remanufacturing rates are currently low. This is largely due to the low demand and availability of remanufactured RDCs in the market. This thesis researches the behavioural barriers that are preventing the adoption of remanufacturing in the industry and investigates behaviour change interventions that could help overcome them.
This thesis develops a theoretical framework (a Pro-Circular Change Model; PCCM), which uses an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour and Persuasive Communication to investigate and influence pro-circular behaviours, specifically in the context of purchasing and producing remanufactured RDCs within the Retail Refrigeration Industry. The framework was used in three empirical studies. The first is a pilot study, which used two-part structured surveys to investigate whether the use of Persuasive Communication could be effective in influencing positive beliefs towards the purchase of
remanufactured RDCs among professionals (N=26) working in the Food and Retail Refrigeration Industry. The results of the pilot study suggest that Persuasive Communication can positively influence beliefs held about the purchase of remanufactured RDCs.
The Persuasive Communication was then embedded into the second study, in which structured surveys were completed by UK grocery retailers (N=20) to see if the intervention had a similarly positive impact on behavioural beliefs, although this time, specifically on the intention to purchase remanufactured RDCs. The structured surveys provided the data to identify the key behavioural determinants of their behavioural intentions. The results of the study reveal that grocery retailers have
little interest in buying remanufactured RDCs. This is largely due to a lack of positive Perceived
Behavioural Controls, particularly the perception of remanufactured RDCs not being available in the market. The intervention however showed that Persuasive Communication can be effective in changing the behavioural intentions of grocery retailers.
The limited availability of remanufactured RDCs in the UK market was then put towards RDCs manufacturers (N=6), in the third study, which in the form of similarly structured surveys, aimed to identify the determinants and influencers of them producing remanufactured RDCs. The results of the study reveal that RDC manufacturers are unlikely to provide remanufactured RDCs to the UK market.
This was a result of them lacking positive Perceived Behavioural Controls and Subjective Norms, particularly the perceptions of remanufactured RDCs being in low demand and remanufacturing being an uncommon offering in the industry. The empirical studies also found there to be other factors, such as price and quality standards that are important drivers of grocery retailers’ and RDC manufacturers’ remanufacturing behaviours. Finally, this thesis provides an industrial case study which outlines how a RDC remanufacturer used Persuasive Communication to successfully encourage a UK grocery retailer
to purchase their remanufactured RDCs.
The results were drawn from a small sample of participants and cannot be concluded as being representative of the population at large. Rather, this thesis provides an insight into the current behavioural landscape towards remanufacturing in the UK Retail Refrigeration Industry according to grocery retailers and RDC manufacturers. This thesis provides recommendations on the development of interventions and forms a knowledge platform for future research on enabling pro-circular behaviours in this sector.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online17 Feb 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Apr 2022
Additional information

This research programme was carried out in collaboration with the Bond Group

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