Circular economy advances with artificial intelligence and digital twin: Multiple-case study of Chinese industries in agriculture

Ali Zain Anwar, Mahreen Zain, Raza Hasan, Hussain Al Salman, Bader Fahad Alkhamees, Faisal Abdulaziz Almisned

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The population growth is drastically surging in demand for food and water and uplifting consumption and waste resulting in overburden of society and the environment. Urgent actions are required to address these emerging global issues. Therefore, adopting a circular economy (CE) is essential to sustain the consumption rate and accommodate the ever-increasing demand. Moreover, the CE practices accelerate the progress on sustainable development. From this perspective, digital technologies are playing driving roles in the successful implementations of CE practices and achievements of the United Nations’ (UN) sustainable development goals (SDGs). Among various emerging digital technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital twin ((DT) are the promising ones. This paper aims to understand and explore how both technologies facilitate the CE transitions and attain SDGs in the agriculture domain. To this end, we provide insights into the concepts of CE, AI, and DT with preliminary and current research status. This research evaluates the contributions of global organizations for CE transitions. We elaborate on the significant contributions of AI and DT in the transition towards CE and identify some challenges that hinder the adoption of these technologies. Besides expanding knowledge, concise multiple case studies are also presented as evidence to depict how companies in China are deploying these technologies to digitize various operations and create solutions for waste management, sustainable resource consumption, renewal energy, water conservation, etc. Findings reveal that these companies successfully attain many SDGs of 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 17. This paper enormously contributes to the emerging research domain of integrating CE, AI, DT, and agriculture.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Knowledge Economy
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2024

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