Green Supply Chain

Topics: Supply chain management, Supply chain, Logistics Pages: 13 (3782 words) Published: May 8, 2014

Executive summary
The e-Technology guide aims to analyse the practice of Green Supply Chain Management (GrSCM) adopted by different companies in the face of increasing impacts of business operations on environment. The guide will start with introducing the reasoning behind the decision of implementing GrSCM and discussing about GrSCM’s current and future development directions. More details regarding to the definition of GrSCM and in-depth analyses about its structure will be also elaborated. Besides, the guide also focuses on explaining benefits and challenges associated with the application of GrSCM into the real business milieu. There is also a case study related to the practice of GrSCM of an electronic company in an attempt to assist readers in more easily linking theoretical with practical aspects of environmental protection. Finally, some recommendations for future implementation of GrSCM are also discussed as suggestions for enhancing the effectiveness of GrSCM in the near future. Introduction

Globalization has witnessed an increase in global logistic activities, which serve for the growing demand of international outsourcing or the exchange of different component parts between suppliers and manufacturers following company’s strategic logistic decisions. This leads to a significant increase in the scale as well as the degree of environmental impacts that the logistic activities possibly generate, especially in developing countries. Indeed, it is predicted that a majority of the world’s manufacturing will be operated in Asia in the next few decades, which brings about more economic opportunities but simultaneously imposes more environmental burdens on these countries (US-AEP, cited in Zhu & Sarkis 2004, p. 266).

Besides, with growing customer awareness of the importance of environmental protection worldwide, more pressures are exerted on multinational enterprises with respect to conserving the Earth’s resources and operating business with more environmental concerns (Mathiyazahagan et al 2013, p.283). To correspond to numerous stakeholders’ demand on the green operation of businesses, a lot of national, regional and even international environmental regulations have been formally established to monitor, evaluate and if authorised, accredit to company’s environmental performance. Leading exemplary regulations include ISO 14031 (global environmental performance indicators), the toxic release inventory (TRI) data and waste from the United States Environmental Agency, and the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) in the European Union (Hervani, Helms & Sarkis 2005, p. 339).

Indeed, various environmental regulations are put into place to serve for the contemporary demand of environmental monitoring. Vachon & Klachen (2006, p. 799) define environmental monitoring as involving in simply evaluating the outcomes of environment efforts made by suppliers (e.g, gaining the certification of ISO 14000 or complying with particular waste management regulations). Due to the passive nature of environmental monitoring, in the future, it is predicted that there should be a shift from environmental monitoring to more strategic environmental collaboration between supply chain participants.

Vachon and Klachen (2006, p. 799) state that environmental collaboration requires the buying organization to devote specific resources to assist its suppliers in developing a more integrated and effective GrSCM. Collaborative activities may include joint planning and knowledge sharing on product design or process modification with respect to long term environmental protection. The advent of environmental collaboration signals a transition from a passive approach of environmental performance scrutiny to a more proactive approach of cooperation between members of the supply chain to realise the goal of greening the supply chain. Definition and analyses of Green Supply Chain Management

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