The Green Supply Chain
The components of the Supply chain are all the parts of the enterprise and other trading partners. There are two major components which are external and internal components. There is a relationship between the two parts. In some situations, the external savings are similar or rather equal to the internal savings. The external component of the supply chain is a representation of suppliers and customers all through the supply (Palevich, 2012). In order to minimise costs and decrease the company’s footprints, there are certain technologies that can be used. There are variations in the external supply chain that are reduced by certain forecasting procedures. In the modern business set up, there are a number of issues that must be taken into consideration when dealing with an organizational aspect such as the establishment of supply chain at both local and international levels (Sehgal, 2009).
This is an inclusion of various concepts such as that of corporate social responsibility and developmental sustainability. The reason why these two issues stand out among movers or shifters in the decision making process in an organization is the fact that competition has taken a different dimension as well as it has gone a notch higher. Sustainable development strategies come about as a direct associate of green supply chains. This is because, in employing the green concept in supply department helps to reflect an inclusiveness of globalization and environmental resource conservation. On the other hand, it is quite important to note that the aspect of green supply chain adds in to the organization’s willingness to be an active player in the field of social corporate responsibility. It is quite difficult for a company or organization to be talked about without mentioning the ideas of environment and the human settlement that surround the establishment. As such, in the strategy to create a sustainable supply chain, any organization with the aim of holding a good rapport as well as putting itself at the top of its game in terms of strategic positioning and competitive advantage, will seek to employ social corporate responsibility (Wang & Gupta, 2007).
This is not only accomplished through including beneficial programmes for the community in its environs, but also, through putting in place measures that go ahead to preserve the social aspects of the community such as culture and environment. Going green has been proven over the years to be the way to go in this quest. In this regard, this study seeks to explore the attributes of green supply chains, their roles and the impacts they have on the way of conducting business (Wang & Gupta, 2011).
Several streams of literature cover sustainability role in the SCM. One of the major areas is the field generally termed as the Green SCM. As suggested by the term, the main focus in this case is the aspect of the environment o the supply chains. The literature reviews by Wang & Gupta (2007) and Sehgal (2009) provide a very good impression of the Supply chain field. Both articles point out that Green supply chain management is mainly derived from a reverse logistics. Angle but also has inputs from concepts focusing on overall process efficiency. Reverse logistics describes the upper stream flow of resources in combination with a reduction of materials in order to make the transport more efficient. The logistics operations play an integral role on the impacts of the environment of the supply chains. Sehgal (2009) finds the Green Supply Chain Management literature to promote the relationship of the ecological and economic aspects of the SCM. This notion has been promoted by several authors before when discussing the role of ‘green’ for competitive advantage. All these publications essentially argue that resource efficiency leads to a reduction of operating costs as well as reduced environmental impact, thus simultaneously bear positive effects on two bottom lines therefore strengthening the competitive position of the enterprise. As brought out by the mainstream literature in GSCM, green and competitive aspects are among the most important ones. This is because of their dependence on the efficiency of the operations from a resource oriented point of view.
Apart from the foregoing, a number of authors have referred to the green supply chain over the past decade due to the merging environmental issues. The growth in the green supply chain literature can be traced back to the early 1990s with the inception of the corporate environmental management, environmentally conscious manufacturing strategy and the literature of the supply chain management. Sehgal (2009) focused on the level and nature of greening the supply chain in the manufacturing sector of the United Kingdom. In addition, the work explores the driving forces behind environmental behaviour, the specific management practices that result and the relationships between them. Palevich (2012) explores factors that are critical for implementing the green supply management practices. Consequently, distinguishing between internal and external drivers for the implementation of the GSCM at the chip manufacturer has also come out more profoundly (Palevich, 2012)
Internal drivers for the implementation include the willingness to improve risk management due to potential interruptions in the supply chain, and the collaboration with suppliers to find alternative materials and equipment to minimise environmental impacts. On the other hand, external drivers include customers, investors and non – governmental institutions.
Having looked with a keen eye at the available written sources that speak about supply chains, it is noticeable to any scholar that the green concept is not very old. This means its existence has not waded across the mucky waters of industrial development since the time of the antiques. However, with the environmental dynamics and the paradigm shifts brought about by climate change and global warming, studies have been implemented and a plethora of pieces of writings spring up with every such effort. As such, the human and corporate world has knowledge of the causes of the disturbances in the environment as well as the crises that come as an outcome of climatic changes such as fuel crises(Palevich, 2012).
In effect, it is obviously observable that going green was an inevitable prospective concept that all would have to embrace and it was just a matter of time. Thus, more research needs to be developed to proceed with this concept on the right track to achieve the required outcomes in the global and local business, supply and transactional forums. The key issues worthy of considering include the way the organization interacts with the environment and the people within the confines of its surrounding (Palevich, 2012). Clearly put forward, these will include the implementation of supply chains to go hand in hand with the corporate social responsibility and environmental conservation. The key loopholes in the available literature, thus, need complete use of proper research include how to link the available structure to the concept of going green for the overall result of sustainable development.
Management and leadership is also a good approach towards achieving green supply chains. Knowledge in the public domain has it that an organization is composed of a variety of departments and people from various cultural and temperamental backgrounds. It is the management that, through a series of decision making processes and policy formulation that glues all of them together such that they are actively involved in harmonious working that strives to achieve the organization’s goals. Moreover, the aspect of organizational culture is also important. This is because organizations need to come out as active advocates and adherents to green policies (Sehgal, 2009).
For the purposes of determining the link between these aspects of green supply chain and the expected outcomes, this research will delve in to the details deeply embedded in the current environmental laws as well as the ideals of environmental shifts and how they relate to the organizational aspect of supply chain strategies that seek to not only create developments on the part of the company but also the advancements and profit acquisition.
Palevich, R. (2012). The lean sustainable supply chain: How to create a green infrastructure with lean technologies. Upper Saddle River, N.J: FT Press
Sehgal, V. (2009). Enterprise supply chain management: Integrating best-in-class processes. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Wang, H.-F., & Gupta, S. M. (2011). Green supply chain management: Product life cycle approach. New York: McGraw Hill.