Sustainable supply chains

Topics: Sustainability, Supply chain management, Supply chain Pages: 8 (4432 words) Published: January 4, 2015
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OPEMAN-559; No of Pages 8

Journal of Operations Management xxx (2007) xxx–xxx

Sustainable supply chains: An introduction
Jonathan D. Linton a,*, Robert Klassen b, Vaidyanathan Jayaraman c a

Paul Desmarais Professor in the Management of Technological Enterprises, School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 6N5, Canada
Ivey School of Management, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada c
Department of Management, School of Business, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Consideration is given to the convergence of supply chains and sustainability. In doing so, the focus on environmental management and operations is moved from local optimization of environmental factors to consideration of the entire supply chain during the production, consumption, customer service and post-disposal disposition of products. This is a critical and timely topic that captures increasing concerns over sustainability, whether driven by current legislation, public interest, or competitive opportunity. As such, sustainable development is a rich area for academic research that is still in its infancy and has the potential to affect future government policy, current production operations, and identify new business models. This paper provides a background to better understand current trends in this multidisciplinary field that intersect with operations management, and the research opportunities and challenges it presents.

# 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Supply chain; Sustainability; By-products

1. Introduction
The interaction between sustainability and supply
chains is the critical next step from recent examinations
of operations and the environment (Corbett and
Kleindorfer, 2003) and operations and sustainability
(Kleindorfer et al., 2005). While important contributions have been made in relation to environmental operations and policy, strategy, finance, product design,
supplier relations and post-consumer product management it is critical to move forward to the systemic issues

* Corresponding author.
E-mail addresses: [email protected] (J.D. Linton), [email protected] (R. Klassen), [email protected]
(V. Jayaraman).

that exist at the intersection of sustainability, environmental management and supply chains. This paper gives consideration to both sustainability
and supply chains. First, the relationship between these
two concepts and previous work on environmental
management of operations is considered. Second, new
questions and research directions prompted by taking a
sustainable supply chain perspective are considered.
While many of the resulting areas of research relate
directly to operations management, a great number of
these open issues are fundamentally interdisciplinary in
nature. This interdisciplinary nature is evident from the
variety of fields in which researchers and practitioners
are considering the challenges and implications of
sustainability. Finally, the papers in this special issue are positioned within the growing study of sustainable
supply chains.

0272-6963/$ – see front matter # 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jom.2007.01.012

Please cite this article in press as: Linton, J.D. et al., Sustainable supply chains: An introduction, Journal of Operations Management (2007), doi:10.1016/j.jom.2007.01.012

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OPEMAN-559; No of Pages 8


J.D. Linton et al. / Journal of Operations Management xxx (2007) xxx–xxx

2. Sustainability—an overview
Sustainability is increasingly discussed by policy
makers (President’s Council on Sustainable Development, 1996; American Chamber of Commerce of Europe, 2004), the popular press (Anon., 2001) and
journals in various technical fields. To provide a sense of
its recent dramatic growth, Fig. 1 summarizes the
number of articles in different fields that consider
sustainability and sustainable...
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