The paper will analyse the shift from conventional supply chain management to ‘sustainable SCM’. The concept shall be elaborated by brief cases of corporations such as Sony, L’Oreal and Alcatel – Lucent to show what strategies companies have adopted to achieve sustainable SCM, including partnership with waste handlers and auditing of the supply chain…
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The recent years have witnessed mounting pressures from various stakeholder groups for corporations to incorporate sustainability into their supply chain management procedures. Sustainable or green supply chain management can be roughly defined as the management of all activities right from the purchase from suppliers to taking back the disposed product from the customers with a special focus on improving the social and environmental impacts of those activities (Business Guide, 2003). This can be contrasted with the conventional supply chain management focused only on the activities until delivery of manufactured products or services to the customers. Therefore, the environmental responsibility has drifted away from the consumer to the manufacturer and retailer (Business Guide, 2003). However, research has suggested that companies require not only the internal capacities, resources and corporate culture to achieve sustainability but also an ‘external fit’ to achieve strategic collaboration with their suppliers (Kanter, 1994) which presents a challenge to companies embracing this philosophy. Furthermore, the grey area surrounding the definition of ‘sustainability’ and ‘green supply chain’ means that sustainable SCM has to be discussed in terms of reverse logistics, closed loop supply chain and various other drivers. There are several drivers for a sustainable supply chain management primarily because of the related benefits to various stakeholders. These include government Regulations, Market forces, Customers, Investors and Employees. The government owns the primary responsibility to influence supply chain sustainability. Government can achieve progress on this by effective use of bans, subsidies and incentives. The government can come up with measures such as environmental labels, licenses and product design guidelines (Business Guide, pp. 42). There are already a number of regulations in place for sustainability. These include U.S. Farm security and rural investment act (2002), European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), China ROHS, E.U. Cosmetics directive, E.U. Packaging Directive, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and REACH. In addition there are International Standards such as WRAP, FLA, ICTI CARE, ISO 14000 and ISO 26000 for addressing environmental causes (Business for Social Responsibility, 2007). As far as the market forces are concerned, the relationship between brand owners and retailers is changing. Big retailers such as Wal-Mart have a huge clout over the manufacturers and control the types of products they want to keep on their shelves. In addition, the retailers and brand owners are also under tremendous pressure from NGOs and other organizations working for environmental causes. As far as the customers are concerned, there is a long way to go before the customer becomes mature enough to buy only environment friendly products. However, the shift has already begun and the customers are willing to spend a few extra dollars to promote or support green supply chain initiatives. WholeFoods charges higher prices for its products than a retailer such as Wal-Mart but is still acceptable to customers because of the sustainable practices being followed in the manufacturing of those products. Furthermore, there are several socially
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“CSR Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/business/1393450-csr.
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