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Towards circular economy in production planning: Challenges and opportunities

Elodie Suzanne, Nabil Absi and Valeria Borodin

European Journal of Operational Research, 2020, vol. 287, issue 1, 168-190

Abstract: In the actual era of the international trade, global warming and depletion of Earth’s natural resources, the willingness to generate sustainable and competitive benefits determines us to stop thinking linearly (produce, consume and dispose) and to shift towards a circular approach by closing material loops. The latter falls within the concept of circular economy that, in turn, derives from reverse logistics. This paper proposes a comprehensive state-of-the-art review around the topic of circular economy and reverse logistics with a particular emphasis on mid-term production planning under discrete time settings. The broad spectrum of reviewed publications is categorized and discussed with respect to the main recovery operations, namely: (i) disassembly for recycling, (ii) from product to raw material recycling, and (iii) by-products and co-production. For each of the aforementioned recovery options, this paper elucidates the related definitions, reviews the mathematical formulations jointly with a structured overview of the solution methods, and discusses their industrial implications. Given the legislative pressure to mitigate environmental impacts caused by production processes, a special attention is paid to the greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. A cross-cutting analysis of the reviewed literature brought forward a number of research gaps and revealed multiple research opportunities to support the development of the circular economy. The key findings show an ever-growing interest in making sustainable the traditional linear industrial processes within a circular economy context.

Keywords: Literature review; Circular economy; Reverse logistics; Operations research; Production planning; Lot-sizing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2020.04.043

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