Link between Sustainability and Industry 4.0: Trends, Challenges and New Perspectives

Leonardo B. Furstenau*, Michele Kremer Sott, Liane Mahlmann Kipper, Enio Leandro Machado, Jose Ricardo Lopez-Robles, Michael S. Dohan, Manuel J. Cobo, Adnan Zahid, Qammer H. Abbasi, Muhammad Ali Imran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)
222 Downloads (Pure)


The increasing number of studies that underline the relationship between industry 4.0 and sustainability shows that sustainability is one of the pillars of smart factories. Through a bibliometric performance and network analysis (BPNA), this research describes the existing relationship between industry 4.0 and sustainability, the strategic themes from 2010 to March 2019, as well as the research gaps for proposing future work. With this goal in mind, 894 documents and 5621 keywords were included for bibliometric analysis, which were treated with the support of Science Mapping Analysis Software Tool (SciMAT). The bibliometric performance analysis presented the number of publications over time and the most productive journals. The strategic diagram shown 12 main research clusters, which were measured according to bibliometric indicators. Moreover, the network structure of each cluster was depicted, and the patterns found were discussed based on the documents associated to the network. Our findings show the scientific efforts are focused to enhance economic and environmental aspects and highlights a lack of effort relating the social sphere. Finally, the paper concludes the challenges, perspectives, and suggestions for the potential future work in the field of study relating to industry 4.0 and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140079-140096
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2020


  • bibliometric
  • co-word analysis
  • Industry 4.0
  • SciMAT
  • strategic intelligence
  • sustainability
  • sustainable manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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