Industry 4.0 enabling sustainable supply chain development in the renewable energy sector: A multi-criteria intelligent approach

Ernesto Mastrocinque, F. Javier Ramirez, Andres Honrubia-Escribano, Duc Truong Pham

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    3 Citations (Scopus)
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    The aim of this paper is to provide a multi-criteria decision-making intelligent approach based on Industry 4.0 and Triple Bottom Line principles for sustainable supply chain development in the renewable energy sector. In particular, the solar photovoltaic energy supply chain is used as a case study, encompassing the entire energy production process, from supply to disposal. An exhaustive literature review is conducted to identify the main criteria affecting social, economic and environmental sustainability in the photovoltaic energy supply chain, and to explore the potential impact of Industry 4.0 on sustainability. Subsequently, three Fuzzy Inference Systems combining quantitative and qualitative data are built to calculate the supply chain's social, economic and environmental sustainability. Experts' opinions are used to identify the impact of Industry 4.0 technologies on the three pillars of sustainability for each supply chain stage. Finally, a novel sustainability index, Sustainability Index 4.0, is formulated to compute the overall sustainability of the photovoltaic energy supply chain in seven countries. The results show the applicability and usefulness of the proposed holistic model in helping policy makers, stakeholders and users to make informed decisions for the development of sustainable renewable energy supply chains, taking into account the impact of Industry 4.0 and digital technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number121813
    Number of pages17
    JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
    Early online date16 Jun 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022

    Bibliographical note

    © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (,
    which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium,
    provided the original work is properly cited..


    • Sustainable supply chain
    • Industry 4.0
    • Renewable energy
    • Triple Bottom Line
    • Multi-criteria decision-making
    • Fuzzy logic


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