Lean and the circular economy: A systematic literature review


  • José Geraldo de Oliveira Rangel Salibi Department of Production Engineering, School of Engineering of Bauru, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Bauru, Brazil
  • Ana Laura De Souza Medina Rodrigues Department of Production Engineering, School of Engineering of Bauru, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Bauru, Brazil
  • Pedro Augusto Bertucci Lima Department of Production Engineering, School of Engineering of Bauru, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Bauru, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6251-0215
  • Fernando Bernardi de Souza Department of Production Engineering, School of Engineering of Bauru, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Bauru, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4302-7636


Lean, Circular Economy, Circular Lean, Sustainability, Sustainable Development


Lean is a well-renowned strategy for increasing the value of products by minimizing waste. The circular economy is a new paradigm designed to mitigate environmental problems in production activities. Considering both perspectives, this article aims to understand how the application of lean can support the achievement of the circular economy. In order to attain this goal, the research presents a systematic literature review using the Scopus and Web of Science databases. Notably, the literature on the theme is still at an exploratory stage, the vast majority of research consisting of case studies. The main lean tools identified in the research are 5S and value stream mapping. The main circular practices, with lean support, are the Rs and ecodesign. The research proposes Circular Lean as a novel concept, one which merges some of the existing lean and circular economy principles. The main idea of this concept is the reutilization of material and energy, adding value and reducing waste within production processes and product life cycles.


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