Energy efficiency represents a key resource for economic and social development, providing substantial benefits to different stakeholders, ranging from the entities which develop energy efficient measures to everyone in society. In addition to cost savings, multiple benefits can be achieved by supporting a better alignment between energy issues and strategic business priorities: e.g., improved competitiveness, profitability, quality, etc. Thus, energy efficiency can be a strategic advantage, not just a marginal issue, for companies. However, most firms, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), face many problems and, in some cases, hostility when trying to effectively implement energy efficiency actions. The most dominant barriers are the access to capital and the lack of awareness (especially in terms of life cycle cost effects). The supply chain viewpoint represents one of the main opportunities for overcoming those barriers and improving energy performance even for weaker companies. Since the current literature on energy efficiency and practical approaches to ensure energy efficiency mainly focus on energy performance on a single-firm basis, this paper aims to provide a systematic review of papers on the integration of energy efficiency in supply chain design and management published in academic journal, thereby defining potential research streams to close the gaps in the literature. A number of literature reviews have been published focusing on specific aspects of sustainable or on green supply chain management; however, to the best of our knowledge, no review has focused on the energy efficiency issue. Firstly, the present paper shows how considering energy consumption in supply chain management can contribute to more energy-efficient processes from a systemic point of view. Then, the review methodology used is defined and the sampled papers are analyzed and categorized based on the different approaches they propose. From these analyses, potential future research streams are outlined.
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