Green light for greener supply

Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 11 (4):308-317 (2002)
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Abstract

The supply chain management function is currently undergoing a dramatic change: it is adopting an increasingly strategic role. However, this growing financial importance is matched in only a handful of exemplary companies by a greater contribution to environmental protection initiatives in the supply chain. This paper explores some of the obstacles to greater supply chain management involvement in environmental protection and offers suggestions for greener supply. At a personal level, the gap between public opinion on the environment and managerial values needs to be closed, and the support offered by management education and by professional bodies needs to be improved. Within the organisation, the reward structure for supply chain managers needs to move away from narrow economic criteria. Greener supply would also benefit from a larger supply chain management role in corporate strategy making; the function could even be offered a seat on the Board of Management. Changes to the mode of supply chain management, including improvements to the information flow on environmental issues, the decision–making tools used in the face of complex environmental challenges and novel approaches to supply chain management need to receive urgent attention.

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