Analysing the alignment between the Green Lean and Circular strategies: towards a Circular Lean approach
Purpose Green Lean tools are aligned with the Circular Economy strategy as they aim at reducing waste, however, they miss the creation of value through waste. Therefore, this paper investigates whether the current implementation of the Green Lean strategy promotes the introduction of the Circular philosophy to achieve sustainable management production processes. It analyses how the resources were managed by implementing the different strategies and tools presented in Green Lean case studies under the lens of Circular Economy and highlights future research paths on the Circular Lean integration. Design/methodology/approach An analysis of the implementation of Green Lean case studies, selected through a Systematic Literature Review, from the manufacturing sector is conducted. Findings The majority of Green Lean implementations were aimed at minimizing waste, which is aligned with the narrowing strategy of Circular Economy and only a few cases studies aimed at closing the production cycles. Even though the main results indicate that being eco-efficient is a good starting point to move towards sustainability, from a Circular Economy point of view, this approach could remain limited. Therefore, the current contribution of Green Lean to the implementation of circular practices is limited. It can be concluded that introducing the circular philosophy in the Green Lean methodology can be achieved through redirecting Green Lean from waste reduction towards a value creation focus. Originality/value The originality of this paper is that it provides a critical review of the literature on the topic of Green Lean integration and Circular Economy.