Green Reverse Logistics

May 18, 2018 Management

This paper proposes a theoretical framework for the analysis of the in? uence of green and lean upstream supply chain management practices on the sustainable development of businesses. To attend this objective, a set of performance measures covering economic (operational cost, environmental cost, and inventory cost), environmental (business wastage, green image, and CO2 emission), and social (corruption risk, supplier screening and local supplier) perspectives is proposed.

An explanatory case study was conducted at a Portuguese automaker to test qualitatively the validity of the proposed theoretical framework. From the case study, a model is suggested, which encompasses the relationships between green and lean upstream supply chain practices and sustainable business development. Index Terms—Automotive industry, green and lean supply chain practices, performance measurement.

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Different management approaches, such as “green” and “lean,” have been adopted by manufacturing companies throughout the world [1], [7], [8]. The simultaneous deployment of green and lean practices may improve business performance while creating economic, social, and environmental bene? ts. In the literature, there are several research studies that focus on green and lean approaches, but they treat them separately [9]–[11]. A study of both paradigms together is found in [12], in which the authors demonstrate the opportunities for improving both ? ancial and environmental performance and who brie? y review speci? c tools and methods. Little research has highlighted the importance of studying the in? uence of both paradigms on SC performance [13], and that little has been mainly in an environmental context [14]. There is a lack of studies addressing the relationship between green and lean approaches, namely in the upstream SCM, and their in? uence on the sustainable development of businesses. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the deployment of green and lean upstream SCM practices and to understand how those practices in? ence the sustainable development of businesses, by having an impact on their economic, social, and environmental performance. This objective is translated into the following three research questions:

Among the diverse interpretations of sustainable development, three interdependent and interrelated components can be found: society, environment, and economy. These are consistent with the notion of a triple bottom line (people, planet, and pro? t) [3]. The sustainable development of business means adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the organizations and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining, and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future [17].

The term sustainable business development has been applied in most cases to an individual organizational context, but it should also be a concern and a priority to SCs. Among the diversity of SCM issues, supplier management to avoid risks, environmental and social, and increase economic, social, and environmental performance is considered critical to ensure SC sustainability [3]. Thus, sustainable business development can be achieved by employing new management approaches, such as green and lean [18].

The green management approach is recognized as contributing to cost reduction by using resources, such as water, energy, and raw materials, more ef? ciently [19]. Companies that do not use resources ef? ciently will miss out on potential commercial opportunities and will lose out as prices for scarce commodities rise. In addition, to achieve a more sustainable business development, environmental issues must be integrated into SCM. Srivastava [20] de? ned green SCM as, “integrating environmental thinking into SCM, including product design, material sourcing and selection, manufacturing processes, ? al product delivery to customers as well as end-of-life disposal. ” Some of green practices suggested in the upstream SC context are the following:


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