Business transformation through sustainability based on Industry 4.0

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The growing global concern with sustainability has driven companies to rethink their business model and seek new ways to operate and face this challenge. Industry 4.0 (I4.0) has shown itself capable of contributing to the development or reformulation of organizational processes to make them more competitive and sustainable. Thus, this article aims to propose drivers for the development of corporate sustainability via I4.0. To this end, a literature review and content analysis were used as research methods to identify and analyze, in recent scientific literature, boosting elements that enable organizational processes to become more sustainable via I4.0. Based on these elements, six drivers were systematized and proposed: strategy; product and process design; energy and material resources; people; smart production; and supply chain. Each driver was discussed in light of the scientific literature to generate recommendations for companies to develop the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The main theoretical-scientific contribution of this work is the deepening and expansion of the knowledge block that articulates corporate sustainability with I4.0, which strengthens the basis for the development of new research on these topics and creates a reference for the analysis and discussion of empirical studies. As an applied-managerial contribution, the drivers proposed in this work will provide organizations and their managers with a point of reference to effectively move towards sustainability, making their businesses greener, fairer, and more profitable. A limitation of this study is that the proposed drivers were based on the 30 most cited articles and did not consider other sources, such as documentation from companies. Therefore, for future studies, we suggest increasing the article base and include organizational repositories and identify how SMEs can become sustainable through I4.0 in a way that strengthens the social dimension of sustainability.




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Heliyon, v. 8, n. 8, 2022.

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