Journal of Circular Economy

An applied scholarly journal on circular economy

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Twin Transition: Synergies between Circular Economy and Internet of Things – A Study of Danish Manufacturers

Jonas Nygaard Uhrenholt, Jesper Hemdrup Kristensen, Sofie Adamsen, Steffen Foldager Jensen, Michele Colli, Brian Vejrum Waehrens


The relation between digital technologies of the industry 4.0 agenda and the circular economy agenda is being coined as mutually beneficial in the twin transition agenda. However, the agenda is in a pre-paradigmatic stage where the dual relationship is primarily discussed at a conceptual level. At the same time, manufacturers are challenged in building sustained performance improvements from either transition. Therefore, this study adopts the multiple case study methodology for investigating the synergetic relation between the internet of things (IoT) and the circular economy (CE) in ten Danish manufacturers as representations of the constituting constructs of the twin transitixon agenda. Accordingly, this study proposes two empirically based propositions for the synergetic relationship between the two: IoT enables the circular economy engagement from the cumulative build-up of data capabilities and their connection to particular value propositions. At the same time, the value and purpose of digital technology are elevated to a strategic perspective when adopting circular economy as a design parameter.


Industry 4.0; industrial sustainability; barriers; enablers; closed-loop supply chain; business model innovation; maturity; cumulative capability


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