Purpose – Globalization has led worldwide organizations to balance their economic and environmental performances in order to achieve a concrete sustainable development. In an environmental centered world, logistics is called to put into action advanced programs based on technological and organizational improvement, in order to gain or maintain a concrete competitive advantage. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how logistics organizations try to face the recent ecological challenges and the role that the emergent green technologies play in making them finally “green” and competitive. Design/methodology/approach – Green supply chain management (GSCM) practices have been investigated to better understand their influence on economic performance and corporate competitiveness. After providing a background discussion on Green Logistics and GSCM, the authors have also identified specific research questions that are worthy of investigation, also thorough the DHL case study. The case study analysis has been conducted according to a specific conceptual model (Rao and Holt, 2005), which allows a deeper understanding of literature review results. Findings – The present paper offers some insights on innovation influence on supply chain management (SCM) greenness, a process oriented to a sustainable and environmental-friendly approach to management of supply chain. According to DHL case study evidence, in logistics innovation, often based on emerging green technologies, is strictly related to the development of a much more sustainable and environment-friendly approach to SCM, based on reduction of core activities’ ecological impact, cost saving, quality, reliability, performance and energy efficiency. In this context, the respect of environmental regulations is fundamental to achieve not only a reduction of ecological damage, but also to overall economic profit. Research limitations/implications – There is a concrete need of further research to better understand the potential link between GSCM, green innovation and logistic organizations competitiveness. In fact, this research area still represents a source of interesting challenges for practitioners, academicians and researchers. Concluding, the research findings cannot be generalized to all logistic organizations, even if DHL is on of the most important and globalized logistic companies. Future researches should empirically test the achieved results also through comparative studies based on a large sample. Originality/value – The suggestion of literature review and the result of case study analysis represent a first attempt to better understand the real and potential influence of GSCM on corporate image and competitiveness. In fact, the present investigation has pointed out that logistic organization can achieve environmental goals and acquire a better positioning than their competitors also cooperating with stakeholders. Therefore, it is necessary that organizations contribute to make them able to participate in corporate activities and develop a concrete environmental-friendly orientation, based on the respect of market’s requests and environmental regulations in order to get their corporate reputation strong than ever.
Sustainability, the consideration of environmental factors and social aspects, in supply chain management (SCM) has become a highly relevant topic for researchers and practitioners. The application of operations research methods and related models, i.e. formal modeling, for closed-loop SCM and reverse logistics has been effectively reviewed in previously published research. This situation is in contrast to the understanding and review of mathematical models that focus on environmental or social factors in forward supply chains (SC), which has seen less investigation. To evaluate developments and directions of this research area, this paper provides a content analysis of 134 carefully identified papers on quantitative, formal models that address sustainability aspects in the forward SC. It was found that a preponderance of the publications and models appeared in a limited set of six journals, and most were analytically based with a focus on multiple criteria decision making. The tools most often used comprise the analytical hierarchy process or its close relative, the analytical network process, as well as life cycle analysis. Conclusions are drawn showing that numerous possibilities and insights can be gained from expanding the types of tools and factors considered in formal modeling efforts.
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to identify key categories of Sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) and related practices that are required to fulfill the demands of sustainability and, therefore, contributing to sustainability performance. As part of this, the authors will identify different approaches in practice implementation in SSCM and supply chain management (SCM). SSCM has become a topic of great interest and is linked to the assumption that a more sustainable performance for businesses would be achieved on its implementation. Such performance has to be achieved with respect to all three dimensions of sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is conceptual in nature. The authors draw from literature on SSCM and examine frameworks and critical accounts on the topic. This allows identifying key aspects of SSCM and pointing out differences and overlaps with SCM. Findings – The authors identify five key categories which are of high importance for the sustainable management of supply chains: orientation toward SCM and sustainability, continuity, collaboration, risk management and proactivity. In a second step, the authors describe distinctive practices which allow organizations to follow the goals formulated in the five key categories. Finally, they highlight issues preventing companies that follow a rather “conventional” approach to SCM to reach the level where it can be called SSCM, i.e. how to reach sustainability performance in SCM. Research limitations/implications – The work presented is conceptual in nature. It would be required to operationalize respective categories and, therefore, test them in empirical research. Practical implications – The categories and practices identified within the framework can be used for guiding managers toward the implementation of SSCM. This is the case when management takes performance implication into account without solely considering rather simplistic indicators. At the same time, differentiating a company based on the implementation of sustainability practices has become more difficult, due to the proliferation of sustainability in a wider field. Social implications – Social aspects are integrated into the framework on the same level as environmental and economic aspects, emphasizing the triple bottom line orientation. Originality/value – While all practices applied in SSCM have originally been identified and described by researchers for the case of “conventional” SCM, their particular interrelation and joint implementation makes up SSCM and ensures a contribution to sustainability performance.
The objective of this paper is to evaluate the state-of-the-art of research into the links between Lean Management, Supply Chain Management and Sustainability with a view to: 1) identifying the topic set studied and contributing a criterion for classifying the literature, 2) discussing the empirical evidence and orienting future research. For this a literature review has been carried out that extends from an internal focus to an entire supply chain focus, and considering, at the same time, the three key dimensions of sustainability. The evaluation of this literature has enabled two main topics of research to be identified: a) Lean Management and Sustainability, and b) Lean Supply Chain Management and Sustainability; as well as a number of more specific lines of research that can be assigned to each of these two research topics. Finally, the paper goes on to discuss the contradictions and inconsistencies found in the literature and proposes new opportunities and challenges that should be addressed by future research.
The emergent field of green supply chain management has been rapidly evolving with a geometric growth in the number of academic publications in this field. A number of literature reviews have been published focusing on specific aspects of green supply chain management such as performance measurement, supplier selection/evaluation, analytical modeling efforts, and some others with broader areas of focus. This paper presents a thorough bibliometric and network analysis that provides insights not previously fully grasped or evaluated by other reviews on this topic. The analysis begins by identifying over 1000 published studies, which are then distilled down to works of proven influence and those authored by influential investigators. Using rigorous bibliometric tools, established and emergent research clusters are identified for topological analysis, identification of key research topics, interrelations, and collaboration patterns. This systematic mapping of the field helps graphically illustrate the publications evolution over time and identify areas of current research interests and potential directions for future research. The findings provide a robust roadmap for further investigation in this field.
Green supply chain management (GSCM) has gained increasing attention within both academia and industry. As the literature grows, finding new directions by critically evaluating the research and identifying future directions becomes important in advancing knowledge for the field. Using organizational theories to help categorize the literature provides opportunities to address both the objectives of understanding where the field currently stands and identifying research opportunities and directions. After providing a background discussion on GSCM, we categorize and review recent GSCM literature under nine broad organizational theories, with a special emphasis on investigation of adoption, diffusion and outcomes of GSCM practices. Within this review framework, we also identify GSCM research questions that are worthy of investigation. Additional organizational theories which are considered valuable for future GSCM research are also identified with a conclusion for this review.
An ever-increasing demand for products and their consumption has put pressure on industrial output and their supply chains, and that demand has resulted in negative impacts on the environment and society. Increasing rates of pollution and environmental calamities caused by industrial production have urged several researchers and industry experts to work on Sustainable Production and Consumption issues within the context of Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM). This paper comprehensively covers the exponential growth of the topic through an evolutionary lens. This article attempts to understand the evolution of sustainability issues by analysing trends across industries, economies, and through the use of various methodologies. A comprehensive thematic analysis was performed on 1068 filtered articles from 2000 to 2015, highlighting the development and importance of the body of knowledge. The study proposes a conceptual framework to classify various factors along the triple bottom line pillars of sustainability issues in the context of supply chains. An in-depth study is conducted on 190 articles covering all pillars of sustainability (as per the proposed conceptual framework) on SSCM. We observe that studies focusing on all three dimensions of sustainability are comparatively scarce. More focus on industry-specific studies is required because problems addressing industries that are serious polluters, especially those in emerging economies, remains largely unaddressed. It is observed that the studies addressing social issues are scarce, and more focus is required on the measurement of social impacts along the supply chain. Finally, we propose future avenues to extend research on the SSCM domain while keeping in mind the need to address industry specific and economy specific problems from the triple bottom line perspective.
This paper argues for the use of Total Interpretive Structural Modeling (TISM) in sustainable supply chain management (SSCM). The literature has identified antecedents and drivers for the adoption of SSCM. However, there is relatively little research on methodological approaches and techniques that take into account the dynamic nature of SSCM and bridge the existing quantitative/qualitative divide. To address this gap, this paper firstly systematically reviews the literature on SSCM drivers; secondly, it argues for the use of alternative methods research to address questions related to SSCM drivers; and thirdly, it proposes and illustrates the use of TISM and Cross Impact Matrix-multiplication applied to classification (MICMAC) analysis to test a framework that extrapolates SSCM drivers and their relationships. The framework depicts how drivers are distributed in various levels and how a particular driver influences the other through transitive links. The paper concludes with limitations and further research directions.
Environmental consciousness has become increasingly important in everyday life and business practice. The effort to reduce the impact of business activities on the environment has been labelled as green supply chain management. Any major greening project would require efforts on the part of the entire supply chain. However, very few studies have addressed the issue of coordinating the green supply chain. We consider the problem of coordination of a manufacturer and a retailer in a vertical supply chain, who put in efforts for 'greening' their operations. We address some pertinent questions in this regard such as extent of effort in greening of operations by manufacturer or retailer, level of cooperation between the two parties, and how to coordinate their operations in a supply chain. The greening efforts by the manufacturer and retailer result in demand expansion at the retail end. The decision variables of the manufacturer are wholesale price and greening effort, while those of the retailer are retail price and its greening effort. We find that the ratio of the optimal greening efforts put in by the manufacturer and retailer is equal to the ratio of their green sensitivity ratios and greening cost ratios. Further, profits and efforts are higher in the integrated channel as compared to the case of the decentralized channel. Finally, a two-part tariff contract is found to produce channel coordination in this problem. A numerical example illustrates the results.
More than 300 papers have been published in the last 15 years on the topic of green or sustainable (forward) supply chains. Looking at the research methodologies employed, only 36 papers apply quantitative models. This is in contrast to, for example, the neighboring field of reverse or closed-loop supply chains where several reviews on respective quantitative models have already been provided. The paper summarizes research on quantitative models for forward supply chains and thereby contributes to the further substantiation of the field. While different kinds of models are applied, it is evident that the social side of sustainability is not taken into account. On the environmental side, life-cycle assessment based approaches and impact criteria clearly dominate. On the modeling side there are three dominant approaches: equilibrium models, multi-criteria decision making and analytical hierarchy process. There has been only limited empirical research so far. The paper ends with suggestions for future research.