Building Sustainable Supply Chains Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1717 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Building Sustainable Supply Chains

Sustainable Supply Chain Management is ostensibly about delivering value. Contingent to the flow of successful supply chain management are the firm ability to integrate sustainability into its supply chain processes via input form strategic management, information supplied by business processes and operations. Additionally, the firm ability to effectively manage inter-firm relationships, to harness information management systems to supply accounting information to make economic decisions and to facilitate proprietary knowledge management and innovation management practices.

A function in the theory in the delivery of the value in the supply chain is through the application of "reverse logistics" (Mann, Kumar, Kumar, Mann, 2010). According to Mann, Kumar, Kumar, Mann (2010), "Adoption of certain sustainable practices like product recovery and reverse logistics are also essential for increasing: operating-level effectiveness (Richey et al., 2005), operational performance, i.e., responsiveness (Richey et al., 2005; and Skinner et al., 2008) and service quality (Daugherty et al., 2005; Richey et al., 2005; and Skinner et al., 2008), process performance (Langer et al., 2007), processing effectiveness (Richey et al., 2005), production rate and recovery rate (Spengler and Schroter, 2003)." (Mann, Kumar, Kumar, Mann, 2010)

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The empirical nature of sustainability in the supply chain is on the delivery of multi-stage supply chain platforms (Supply Chain Management, 2007). The reuse of materials within the supply chain is a sustainable practice which enables further value to be delivered from the manufacturing process. "In fact, business practices and research may experience n-order supply chains (e.g. third -- and fourth-order) in the future, as non-renewable resources become more and more scarce. For example, what may follow after the second-order supply chain of clothes is a third-order supply chain (A^n, B^n, C^n) which may be one dedicated to waste disposal." (Supply Chain Management, 2007)

Term Paper on Building Sustainable Supply Chains Assignment

Empirically, the scientific aspect of the sustainability as its driven into the operations of the supply chain is a function of the development of processes that enable the renewable resources innovation of retaining supply for remanufacturing purposes. Such applications are enabling a greater percentage gain on the profits derived as a function of supply chain processes, lowering the variable cost per unit, and essentially lowering the manufacturing overhead.


Objective One: The first objective is to determine the processes that identify the most with the facilitation of a more sustainable supply chain practice. This is the process of a reverse logistics system. The identification of how sustainability in the supply chain has affected the social, environmental, and economic paradigm of corporate management and operations.

Objective Two: The second objective is to determine how to enable the development in the building of sustainable supply chains. This is to address the nature of what a sustainable supply chain is and how one is facilitated in the manufacturing and development process.

Objective Three: How to integrate business process management with the supply chain under the auspice of executive leadership, organizational strategic planning, and comply with federal, and environmental policy.

Significances of the Study

To determine the level of investment necessary to properly prepare to implement a sustainable supply chain practice a firm must identify how it can facilitate sustainability within the supply chain given the inherent constraints and the inherent resources already utilized within the entire process. The study will reveal how such measures of identification are reached and to the extent of investment return one may expect.

Additionally, the study does render information about why a firm should consider undergoing the sustainability process and what there is to gain when given the investment into enhancing the supply chain delivery processes. The methodology of linking the other core processes within the firm to the overall management of the firm is critical to the ability to sustain the sustainability model of supply chain management.

Literature Review

Objective One identifies the processes most relevant to the successful development of a sustainable supply chain development process. Reverse logistics have been the identifiable process of realizing value within the supply chain. The value derived from implementing reverse logistics has saved corporations many millions and has become an important factor in determining the net benefit to moving with a reverse logistics program. "This escalating interest in sustainable reverse logistics or in 'closing the loop' in supply chains to integrate reverse flows with traditional forward flows, is driven by a number of factors. Increasingly important, reverse logistics operations are currently estimated between U.S.$37 bn and $921 bn annually (Amini et al., 2005.) Industry estimates place the figure between U.S.$350 bn and $1.8 tn, for just North America alone (Reverse Logistics Association, 2010)." (Mann, Kumar, Kumar, Mann (2010)

The reverse logistics process is disseminated to be integrated effectively into the holistic process of the organization. By utilizing the raw materials used within the supply chain, organizations are able to facilitate sustainability within the supply chain at a more direct rate than can be achieved simply by involving manufacturers, marketers, developers, and others independently involved with the supply chain.

Sustainable supply chain management is often correlated to the ability of the organization to link environment, social, and economic facets of the business to the organizational strategy. The ability of the organization to facilitate organizational processes development by reorganizing the supply chain is directly a function in the ability to identify variables in the environment, social paradigms, and economic causative variables.

According to Seuring (2008), "Sustainable supply chain management is comprehended as the integration of sustainable development and supply chain management. Sustainable development is often described as containing three dimensions, i.e. integrating environmental, social and economic issue for human development, which also impacts corporate strategy and action (Dyllick and Hockerts, 2002). Merging this with supply chain management, environmental and social aspects along the supply chain have to be taken into account, thereby avoiding related problems, but also looking at more sustainable products and processes (Green et al., 1998; McIntyre et al., 1998; Hamprecht et al., 2005; Simpson and Power, 2005)." (Seuring, 2008)

Carter and Rogers (2008) have identified that a lack of theoretical contributions from either scholarly or private practice has not continued to improve on the field of sustainable supply chain management. "Despite numerous calls for more theory development in supply chain management research (Kent and Flint, 1997; Mentzer and Kahn, 1995; Meredith, 1993; Melynk and Handfield, 1998; Wacker, 1998), there has been, respectively, little theory-building research appearing within the broad field of supply chain management to date (Carter and Ellram, 2003)." (Carter, Rogers, 2008)

Research Design & Methodology

The method of research involved identifying the critical component to the supply chain process that enabled sustainability within the process. The isolation of the influential or lurking variables such as strategic management, knowledge management, etc. while investigating innovation management did yield the most single important value chain process. The research design is therefore the parameters of a successfully implemented reverse logistics process capable of reinvesting raw materials from final products that are at salvage value. Additionally, research design around the premise of reused raw materials from the supply chain process has provided a secondary revenue capture source that reduces variable costs, operating expenses, and therefore increases revenue per unit.

The methodology of the research design is the logical addressing of value saved in supply chain process design. Six Sigma methodologies are applicable to the dissemination of supply chain activity to remove inefficiencies in the process that do not add value. By reducing the level of unnecessary activity in the supply chain, the organization is able to save in operational costs which boost the net revenue.


The paper has focused on the most affirmative aspect of value in the sustainable supply chain model. The process in question is at the forefront of strategic management practices in supply chain management, business processes and operations management and involves the interlinking of information management systems, interdepartmental relationship building and management. Additionally, is a function of the proprietary knowledge management that is developed to lead the particular innovative process for the supply chain process improvement. Innovation management is ultimately the ability of the firm to address issues within operations management to which inherent inefficiencies reside and to where the firm is capable of removing variability in the process and hence adopting a means to harness the renewable resources materials from products rendered from the supply chain manufacturing process.

The theories presented in accordance with the empirical evidence does point to the adaption of real-world applications and processes to reuse resources as a means to renewable resources development and hence sustainability. Sustainability through the supply chain is a means to reduce the cost of raw materials supply as well as the cost of inventory of raw materials necessary to store the raw materials until manufacturing processes are able to sustain the use of the materials in the development process. Management of this process, from strategic management to innovation management is critical to the profitability and overall effectiveness of the investment into sustainable supply chain management practices


"Aspects of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM): conceptual framework and empirical example," 2007, Supply Chain Management, vol.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Building Sustainable Supply Chains" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Building Sustainable Supply Chains.  (2011, August 12).  Retrieved September 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Building Sustainable Supply Chains."  12 August 2011.  Web.  26 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Building Sustainable Supply Chains."  August 12, 2011.  Accessed September 26, 2020.