Sustainability Delivered: Designing Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains

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  1. Sustainable distribution - Wikipedia
  2. Contact the Library
  3. Sustainable Supply Chain Design in Social Businesses: Advancing the Theory of Supply Chain
  4. Sustainable Supply Chain Design: A Configurational Approach
  5. Responsible Supply Chains Conference - Podcasts

Madeleine Pullman. If you are a supply chain manager, an executive, an entrepreneur, or a stakeholder in a sustainable business, this book will help you develop the awareness and skills needed to support sustainable supply chain management in your firm. The authors introduce the many ways that social and environmental responsibility can be integrated into supply chain management, from sustainable product and process design to programs and techniques that support product end-of-life management. The book begins with a discussion of sustainability and business strategy.

It then explores product and process design, sustainable purchasing and logistics, and product end-of-life management topics. Innovative SSC. These companies search for innovative solutions to tackle environmental problems and sustainable supply challenges by depending on more sustainable and clean technologies. Clean technologies can provide the opportunities for the organizations to reposition their internal skills and capabilities to gain benefits from future markets. Innovation and repositioning are the values that firms would propose to their shareholders through the implementation of this kind of environmental strategy [ 15 ].

Reputed SSC. These companies attempt to integrate different stakeholder's views into the business processes to provide reputation and legitimacy for the firm.


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Product stewardship, which involves the whole chain from raw materials to the disposal of generated waste, is a more integrated approach compared to pollution prevention. Some practices that organizations can consider to create sustainable value to their shareholders through this strategy are green marketing efforts relating customers' purchasing actions to sustainability conscious decisions; life cycle management considering the costs and benefits of products beyond the internal boundaries of the firms from the sources of materials to disposal of the ultimate waste by end-users ; and closing the supply chain loop by converting the wastes into new inputs and re-entering the used materials and products in the production cycle [ 14 , 15 ].

Sustainable distribution - Wikipedia

By implementing the product stewardship strategy, firms might gain the competitive advantage of being the first mover in future markets. This can be the result of acquiring limited resources for producing green products or establishing a set of new and tailored rules and regulations in interaction with influential stakeholders [ 14 ]. As can be seen from Figure 5 , the drivers from various stakeholders influence the companies' decisions for selecting the appropriate environmental strategy. The consequent values expected to be created by this strategy can be considered as a central theme for configuring the SSC.

These drivers can either be external or internal. Examples of external drivers are regulators, customers, suppliers, green associations, NGOs, and competitors that drive the company to implement green practices to meet their expectations [ 58 , 59 ]. Internal drivers [ 58 , 59 ] could be the firm's environmental mission and competitive strategy which motivate the company to seek for environmentally friendly solutions that not only meet the external stakeholders' requirements, but also improve the firm's competitiveness.

After selecting the dominant environmental strategy, the appropriate configuration of SSC practices, processes, and structures can be designed.

Sustainability in Supply Chain Management

Firstly, the core practices should be determined by considering the central theme. Secondly, the processes and structures should be designed to implement these practices while simultaneously following the central theme. Table 4 shows the recommended matching of processes and networks with the appropriate SSC practices. Table 6 briefly describes how these processes and networks should be designed to configure each of the three above-mentioned configurations. These recommendations for core practices, processes, and networks are based on the central theme and philosophy of each kind of environmental strategy, as presented in this section.

Pressure from different stakeholders to integrate sustainability conscious aspects in business practices has driven enterprises to adopt a variety of green initiatives in their supply chain. It goes without saying that no business can address all of these practices due to resource and budget limitations [ 60 ]. Therefore, they have to make a decision in selecting the most strategic practices for their business, and, subsequently, provide the appropriate infrastructure for implementing such practices.

In other words, the company has to decide on the desired values created by the implementation of these practices and then design the whole sustainable supply chain SSC to offer these values as much as possible. By considering this requirement, this study has embarked on a process-oriented approach to produce a comprehensive list of SSC practices classified into nine groups, namely, internal environmental management, green supply and supplier management, green manufacturing, green deliver, green consumption and customer management, collection management, recovery management, waste disposal, and influential stakeholder management.

The process-oriented approach to classify these practices provides a basis for matching the practices to the processes and structures. The main processes are plan, source, make, deliver, use, collect, recover, and waste disposal. The structures include both forward and reverse supply chain networks in which the reverse networks are categorized into four distinctive structures: the waste treatment, collection, reprocessing, and recycling networks. These configurations are developed based on the philosophy of various environmental strategies proposed by [ 14 , 15 ] with an emphasis on the natural-resourced-based view NRBV.

Efficient SSCs follow the pollution prevention [ 14 , 15 ] strategy, which intends to minimize the waste and emissions from the operations. The central theme for this configuration is cost and risk reduction. Core practices to meet the requirements of this environmental strategy could be green supply and purchasing, green process design, and material, product, and investment recovery. The processes would be designed to be costeffective, thus they are usually standardised and procedural.

A centralized design of structures [ 34 ] might lead to cost reduction throughout the whole chain. Innovative SSCs follow the clean technology strategy [ 15 ], which intends to develop the competencies for innovative development and future shaping. The central theme for this configuration is innovation and repositioning. Product eco-design and use of clean energy and technology are the core practices to meet this configuration's requirements. Processes are usually flexible and innovative to provide the rapid development of competencies required for the future.

Decentralized structures [ 34 ] could also be considered as a solution for designing the reverse networks to provide a basis for rapid development. Reputable SSCs follow the product stewardship strategy [ 14 , 15 ], which intends to integrate stakeholder views into the business process. The central theme for this configuration is reputation and legitimacy.

Collaborative practices in terms of collaboration with suppliers and customers and involving the influential stakeholders in business practices can be considered as core practices in this configuration. Processes should also be designed for effective collaboration with influential stakeholders. Reverse networks in this kind of configuration can also be developed by a joint approach through an alliance with existing reputable networks in the industry.

While designing the networks for this configuration, closing the loop is also a critical measure. This study has applied a process-oriented approach to classify SSC practices in addition to a configurational approach for configuring these practices with the processes and structure.

It forms the initial efforts in developing a framework for sustainable supply chain design SSCD. By configuring and harmonizing the design components of a SSC, this framework could assist companies to gain more benefit from implementing sustainability conscious practices. Future research for validating these configurations, such as conducting a series of case studies involving organizations from various industries, would develop this field of research further. Moreover, future studies for exploring the particular SSC practices in various industries and customizing the list of SSC practices for each unique combination of industries and configurations might develop the field further.

Once the framework is validated, the measurement methods can be developed to determine the degree of alignment of existing configurations to that of the standard configuration presented in the framework. Finally, this measurement method would provide a quantitative research framework for analysing the link between an appropriately configured SSC and the firm's performance and competitiveness. The authors would like to extend their appreciation to University of Malaya for the Postgraduate Research Fund Grant no.

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List ScientificWorldJournal v. Published online Jan Maryam Masoumik. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Oct 16; Accepted Nov Maryam Masoumik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract Designing the right supply chain that meets the requirements of sustainable development is a significant challenge. Introduction In recent years, increased pressure from various stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, regulators, competitors, local and global communities, and nongovernmental organizations NGOs , have prompted the manufacturing industry to integrate sustainability-conscious practices into their business not only at the firm level, but also for the entire supply chain [ 1 , 2 ].

Table 1 The list of previous studies in sustainable supply chain practices, processes, and structures. Area References Sustainable supply chain practices, drivers, and performances [ 39 , 44 , 58 , 59 , 61 — 72 ] Optimizing planning processes [ 73 — 86 ] Network design [ 34 , 36 , 87 — ]. Open in a separate window. The Concept of SSC This section attempts to provide a comprehensive understanding concerning the concept of a sustainable supply chain SSC by considering the related definitions presented in the literature. Research Process The research process of this study is divided into three stages.

Understanding the Components of SSCD A comprehensive literature review was conducted on the credible literature published within the last 18 years to identify and understand the components of SSCD in terms of practices, processes, and structures. Table 2 The distribution of articles in various journals over the last 18 years. Figure 1. Table 3 Sustainable supply chain processes and their definitions. SSC Structures Different organizations or individuals are required to play a role in a supply chain in order to implement the SSC processes.

From the literature [ 34 — 37 ], there are five types of network through which the processes of forward and reverse supply chains are accomplished: forward supply chain networks, which include suppliers, producers, and distributors that are designed for producing original products and distributing them to the market; collection networks CO , which are designed for collecting used products from consumers and distributing them to relevant destination points based on feasible recovery options; reprocessing networks REP that transform used products to reusable products through repairing, refurbishing, remanufacturing or cannibalizing, and distributing them to the reuse market; recycling networks REC , which extract reusable materials from used products and distribute them to suppliers; waste treatment networks WT that direct unusable products and materials to disposal or landfill sites.

Figure 2. SSC Practices Different practices in managing environmentally conscious supply chains are identified from the collected literature. Figure 3. Figure 4. A process-oriented approach for categorizing sustainable supply chain practices. Table 4 Sustainable supply chain practices presented in the literature.

Group A: Internal Environmental Management To implement green supply chain practices, the organizations are required to establish their own environmental management system. Group B: Green Supply and Supplier Management Practices that relate to the supply of raw materials and components are categorized in this group. Group C: Green Manufacturing The majority of practices in this group involve the waste-directed approach [ 22 ].

Group D: Green Deliver The practices categorized in this group are those that minimize the environmental impact of products' delivered in terms of transportation and packaging. Group G: Recovery Management The main objective of the practices within this group is to minimize the generated waste by recovering the used-products in terms of repairing, refurbishing and remanufacturing, or recycling materials whenever possible [ 40 ].

Group H: Waste Disposal The waste disposal practices originated from the effect-directed approach, which is a less integrated approach to manage an environmentally conscious supply chain [ 22 ]. Group I: Influential Stakeholder Management Practices categorized under this group aim to minimize the cost of meeting the regulators' requirements and to increase the company's flexibility and responsiveness by influencing the key stockholders.

Table 5 A harmonized categorization of sustainable supply chain practice, processes, and structures. Figure 5. A conceptual framework for designing a sustainable supply chain. Table 6 Different configurations of a sustainable supply chain. Conclusion and Research Implications Pressure from different stakeholders to integrate sustainability conscious aspects in business practices has driven enterprises to adopt a variety of green initiatives in their supply chain.

Acknowledgment The authors would like to extend their appreciation to University of Malaya for the Postgraduate Research Fund Grant no. Conflict of Interests The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper. References 1. Extending the horizons: environmental excellence as key to improving operations. Manufacturing and Service Operations Management. The role of stakeholder pressure and managerial values in the implementation of environmental logistics practices.

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Models, Methods, and Public Policy Implications

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Sustainable Supply Chain Design in Social Businesses: Advancing the Theory of Supply Chain

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Sustainable Supply Chain Design: A Configurational Approach

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