Industry 4.0 technologies' effects on environmental sustainability - A systematic literature review


  • Mohamed El Merroun University of Sopron, H-9400 Sopron, Hungary
  • István János Bartók University of Sopron, H-9400 Sopron, Hungary
  • Osama Alkhlaifat University of Sopron, H-9400 Sopron, Hungary



Sustainability, industry 4.0, Digital transformation, IoT, CPS


In the existing literature, Industry 4.0 and its potential impact on environmental sustainability have been studied from different perspectives. However, Industry 4.0 is a concept that gathers different technologies that are not necessarily combined. It is clear that the combination of different technologies is the core value of Industry 4.0. However, the examination of each technology separately is crucial for determining the right combination of technologies for each specific case. Therefore, the following research provides a systematic literature review (SLR) of each technology included in Industry 4.0 and its effects on environmental sustainability aspects based on 107 research papers. 417 articles from the SCOPUS database, which contain the word Industry 4.0 in the title, abstract, and/or in the indexed keywords, were scanned by the command-line program Astrogrep to find the most common Industry 4.0 technologies. The results revealed that the Internet of Things (IoT) was mentioned 252 times, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) 81 times, Simulation 38 times, Blockchain 30 times, Augmented Reality (AG) 27 times, and Additive Manufacturing (3D printers) 23 times. First, the study reviews the potential effects of the six technologies on different aspects of environmental sustainability. Later on, the challenges faced by organizations when applying these technologies for environmental purposes were reviewed, and new research scopes and future research directions were highlighted.


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How to Cite

M. El Merroun, I. J. . Bartók, and O. Alkhlaifat, “Industry 4.0 technologies’ effects on environmental sustainability - A systematic literature review”, JME, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 132–152, Dec. 2022.