Application of Industry 4.0 tools to empower circular economy and achieving sustainability in supply chain operations

Surajit Bag, Lincoln C. Wood, Arnesh Telukdarie, V. G. Venkatesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This study considers how effective South African manufacturing enterprises have used Industry 4.0 tools and applications to achieve sustainability in supply chain operations. Organization Information Processing Theory (OIPT) suggests Industry 4.0 tools should enhance operational capabilities. South African manufacturers were surveyed and 200 responses were received. Partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the conceptual model. We provide evidence that using Industry 4.0 tools to improve resource consumption rate and reduce waste and pollution is most likely to enhance sustainable supply chain operations. Both the control orientation and the flexible orientation of the production team enhance their ability to generate positive sustainable outcomes from Industry 4.0 use. The results may not be generalizable to other, less developed nations, which struggle with Industry 4.0 implementation but should generalize to other developing nations. This study has a clear implication that there are viable pathways to sustainable supply chain operations, driven by Industry 4.0 applications, through improving resource consumption and reducing waste and pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)918-940
Number of pages23
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Industry 4.0
  • circular economy
  • organization information processing theory
  • remanufacturing
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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