The circular economy and Industry 4.0: synergies and challenges
Keywords:Circular Economy, Industry 4.0, Systematic literature review
Purpose – The proposal is to answer the following question: based on previous studies, which are the new
paths and challenges related to the circular economy (CE) and Industry 4.0 (I4.0)? To answer this question, the
research objective is to analyze studies approaching the interface between CE and I4.0.
Design/methodology/approach – A systematic literature review (SLR) was conducted on previously
published studies pertaining to Scopus and Web of Science bases, and 63 articles were found.
Findings – The authors present five new paths and challenges amid the relationship between CE and I4.0:
applying those technologies to clean production, using blockchain and big data in the circular supply chain,
raising additive manufacturing impact on the CE, seek for a better understanding on how I4.0 technologies can
properly support the CE in the stakeholders’ view and discerning the factors for implementing those theoretical
fields onto supply chains.
Research limitations/implications – Previous studies’ sample basis is still recent, lacking research depth.
Search strings might have minimized the number of selected studies: there could be a bigger sample.
Practical implications – Practical contributions of this study lay on the applicability of the raised
propositions into several sectors’ industries.
Social implications – The authors suggest a transition agenda towards CE, using I4.0 technologies for
operational, tactical and strategic personnel within organizations, as well as potential utilization strategies in
specific study fields, like supply chain management and product manufacturing per se.
Originality/value –The study presents new paths and challenges amid technologies pertaining to I4.0 and its
interfaces with the CE. In the result presentation and analysis, the existing interfaces are described.