Circular economy as challenge to the fourth industrial revolution

The paper intends to describe the role of the circular economy as an important innovation within the framework of the fourth industrial revolution. The circular economy is prerequisite and a driver of the industrial revolution. Its conception follows two main objectives. On one hand, the full value of used products should be recovered for reaching a maximum of economic efficiency. On the other hand, by recovering this value the pressure on the environment will be lowered and contributions will be made to meet better the requirements of the social, economic and environmental sustainable development. These two objectives lead together to a «sustainable value creation – SVC». More concretely, the authors discuss the so called «6R» model of closed supply chains as a practical implementation of the innovative conception of recovering the product value. They describe the steps that need to be done to reach the level of SVC and display examples of a successful implementation of closed supply chains. Finally, the authors analyze the problems and obstacles of and the needed measures for implementing the conceptions of the circular economy and closed supply chains in the Russian Federation

Keywords: circular economy, closed loop supply chain, the fourth industrial revolution, environmental innovation, recovery


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