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Special Issue "Sustainable Supply Chains"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Stephan Vachon

Ivey Business School, Western University, 1255 Western Rd, London, ON N6G 0N1, Canada
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the notion of sustianable supply chain has been part of major corporations’ core strategy. This Special Issue focuses on environmental sustainability in supply chains. Environmental practices taking place in supply chains include the following topics:

·       The corporate approaches to climate change risk.
·       The measurement and management of reputational risk.
·       Environmental purchasing practices.
·       Green logistics and transportation
·       The greening of products including the application of life cycle assessment or material substitution.
·       The implementation and management of zero-waste-to-landfill policies in corporations.
·       The adoption of recycling systems and waste-to-energy technologies as well as the notion of closed-loop supply chain management.
·       Water management and conservation in supply chains.
·       Energy efficiency in buildings or in energy-intensive processes.

This Special Issue welcomes full research articles, short communications, conceptual papers, literature reviews, and case studies (descriptive papers illustrating a particular practice or a solution to a manageiral problem). Empirical-based methodology comprising both rigorous qualitative (case study, ethnography, field study) and quantitative research (experiment, survey, archival data, simulations) is favoured. Papers using analytical methods or mathematical modeling developments are not particularly sought for this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Stephan Vachon
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Green Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Supply Chain
  • Climate Change
  • Waste Management
  • Energy Efficiency

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Case Study Analysing Potentials to Improve Material Efficiency in Manufacturing Supply Chains, Considering Circular Economy Aspects
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 880; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030880
Received: 1 January 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 15 March 2018 / Published: 20 March 2018
PDF Full-text (1451 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In order to decouple economic growth from global material consumption it is necessary to implement material efficiency strategies at the level of single enterprises and their supply chains, and to implement circular economy aspects. Manufacturing firms face multiple implementation challenges like cost limitations,
[...] Read more.
In order to decouple economic growth from global material consumption it is necessary to implement material efficiency strategies at the level of single enterprises and their supply chains, and to implement circular economy aspects. Manufacturing firms face multiple implementation challenges like cost limitations, competition, innovation and stakeholder pressure, and supplier and customer relationships, among others. Taking as an example a case of a medium-sized manufacturing company, opportunities to realise material efficiency improvements within the company borders—on the supply chain and by using circular economy measures—are assessed. Deterministic calculations and simulations, performed for the supply chain of this company, show that measures to increase material efficiency in the supply chain are important. However, they need to be complemented by efforts to return waste and used products to the economic cycle, which requires rethinking the traditional linear economic system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Tackling Fragmented Last Mile Deliveries to Nanostores by Utilizing Spare Transportation Capacity—A Simulation Study
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030653
Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 12 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Last mile deliveries in urban areas cause a disproportionate unsustainable impact, while it is also the most expensive part of the supply chain. This is particularly true for freight flows that are characterized by fragmentation. Logistically, this becomes apparent in vehicles that are
[...] Read more.
Last mile deliveries in urban areas cause a disproportionate unsustainable impact, while it is also the most expensive part of the supply chain. This is particularly true for freight flows that are characterized by fragmentation. Logistically, this becomes apparent in vehicles that are driving around with a low vehicle fill rate, leading to the unnecessary presence of freight vehicles in our cities. This study focuses on the operational feasibility of utilizing the spare transportation capacity of a service-driven company as a potential solution to supply small independent retailers, or nanostores. The aim is to reduce inefficient vehicle movement. Based on a real-life implementation, we use SYnchronization Model for Belgian Inland Transport (SYMBIT), an agent-based model, to simulate various bundling scenarios. Results show the total vehicle kilometers and lead times to supply nanostores for the service-driven company to serve its customers. There is a potential to utilize spare capacity to supply nanostores while maintaining a decent service level. The number of vehicle kilometers driven highly depends on the location of the distribution center where the service-driven company operates. Based on these results, the conditions that have to be met to replicate this solution in other urban areas are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Mapping the Landscape and Evolutions of Green Supply Chain Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030597
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
PDF Full-text (2909 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing need to integrate environmental considerations into supply chain management research and practice. Conceptual papers are being updated all the time to gain a systematic view of the framework in green supply chain management. The purpose of this paper is
[...] Read more.
There is a growing need to integrate environmental considerations into supply chain management research and practice. Conceptual papers are being updated all the time to gain a systematic view of the framework in green supply chain management. The purpose of this paper is to visualize the research to-date on green supply chain management according to the intellectual framework and hot topics. Using bibliometric analysis, our paper will present a comprehensive summary of previous research on the knowledge domain. Exploring 1145 papers mainly published from 2000 to May 2017 in international peer-reviewed journals from social sciences citation index (SSCI), the basic distribution of publications are analyzed, and nine prominent research clusters in green supply chain management are visualized by a co-citation network. Key issues are highlighted and analyzed. As for future inquiries, there are numerous opportunities for more advanced theoretically-grounded research and exploration of more multi-functional and systematic approaches. In order to gain broader views of research, a triple bottom line approach can be widely applied to evaluation, impact mechanisms, decision making, drivers, risks and carrier analysis, as well as system contributions. This also provides an integrated point of view to understand the landscape of green supply chain management both for researchers and practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle An Assessment Tool to Integrate Sustainability Principles into the Global Supply Chain
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 535; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020535
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
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Abstract
The integration of sustainability principles into the assessment of companies along the supply chains is a growing research area. However, there is an absence of a generally accepted method to evaluate corporate sustainability performance (CSP), and the models and frameworks proposed by the
[...] Read more.
The integration of sustainability principles into the assessment of companies along the supply chains is a growing research area. However, there is an absence of a generally accepted method to evaluate corporate sustainability performance (CSP), and the models and frameworks proposed by the literature present various important challenges to be addressed. A systematic literature review on the supply chain at the corporate level has been conducted, analyzing the main strengths and gaps in the sustainability assessment literature. Therefore, this paper aims to contribute to the development of this field by proposing an assessment framework a leading company can adopt to expand sustainability principles to the rest of the members of the supply chain. This proposal is based on best practices and integrates and shares efforts with key initiatives (for instance, the Organizational Environmental Footprint from the European Commission and United Nations Environment Programme and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry UNEP/SETAC); moreover, it overcomes important limitations of the current sustainability tools in a supply chain context consistent with the circular economy, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), planetary boundaries, and social foundation requirements. The results obtained create, on the one hand, new opportunities for academics; and, on the other hand, in further research, the use of this framework could be a means of actively engaging companies in their supply chains and of achieving the implementation of practical and comprehensive CSP assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainability Tensions in Supply Chains: A Case Study of Paradoxes and Their Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020424
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
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Abstract
The comprehensive coverage of sustainability issues in a supply chain incurs goal conflicts—i.e., sustainability tensions—and is often limited by market characteristics, such as the availability of sustainable materials and services. While the mainstream business is prioritizing economic goals, a number of entrepreneurs are
[...] Read more.
The comprehensive coverage of sustainability issues in a supply chain incurs goal conflicts—i.e., sustainability tensions—and is often limited by market characteristics, such as the availability of sustainable materials and services. While the mainstream business is prioritizing economic goals, a number of entrepreneurs are trying to move forward to more sustainable business practices for their own company and their supply chain. Fairphone represents such a case in the electronics industry, which is openly communicating its sustainability efforts and shortcomings. This communication is content-analyzed in this study by applying the theoretical lenses of paradox sustainability tensions and sustainable supply chain management. Findings of this analysis reveal the limitation of sustainability efforts by supply side characteristics, while Fairphone is innovatively using the demand side of its supply chain to drive sustainability. The resulting tensions among both sides are addressed via pro-active and direct supplier and stakeholder engagement by Fairphone at their suppliers’ mines and factories. The systematic identification of tensions and practices by which they are addressed is adding to our understanding of sustainability practices and goal conflicts in supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle How to Achieve Supply Chain Sustainability Efficiently? Taming the Triple Bottom Line Split Business Cycle
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020397
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 3 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For sustainable supply chains, specific concepts regarding how to efficiently improve sustainability are needed in a global comprehensive triple bottom line (TBL) approach, especially for forwarders as central actors in supply chain design. Such specific advice is provided by reporting empirical DEA Malmquist
[...] Read more.
For sustainable supply chains, specific concepts regarding how to efficiently improve sustainability are needed in a global comprehensive triple bottom line (TBL) approach, especially for forwarders as central actors in supply chain design. Such specific advice is provided by reporting empirical DEA Malmquist index findings from seven large European forwarders regarding a TBL sustainability analysis from 2006 to 2016. A major obstacle in improving sustainability consists in the newly discovered fact that with the business cycle, the three TBL areas of economic, ecologic and social objectives for logistics are undergoing different up- and down-ward trends, making it very hard to improve all three simultaneously. Additional factors are identified in the characteristics of size and government influence regarding the sustainability efficiency of forwarders. This has important impacts on supply chain design like e.g., with selection criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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Open AccessArticle A New Demand-Supply Model to Enable Sustainability in New Australian Housing
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020376
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 15 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Sustainability implementation in new housing in Australia lags much of the developed world’s standards and implementation levels for residential sustainability. Various reasons for this are offered via a ‘blame game’ in a sector plagued by lack of demand, prohibitive costs, and poorly implemented
[...] Read more.
Sustainability implementation in new housing in Australia lags much of the developed world’s standards and implementation levels for residential sustainability. Various reasons for this are offered via a ‘blame game’ in a sector plagued by lack of demand, prohibitive costs, and poorly implemented existing energy efficiency regulations. Multiple gaps in traditional supply-led procurement theory inhibits sustainability’s implementation in the Australian mass production residential construction system. Once-off consumers are not the key demand actor due to their inability to demand sustainability in a system that limits consumers’ choice and demand. Warren-Myers and Heywood (2016) theorized that the mass-producing Volume Builders are the pivotal demand-side actor in mainstreaming sustainability in the Australian new housing system. This paper investigated the Volume Builders’ roles and relationships with traditional demand-side actors, housing consumers, and the supply-side’s subcontractors and suppliers, to identify the ultimate demand actor that drives the housing industry. The investigation used semi-structured interviews with Volume Builders. The results demonstrated Volume Builders’ dominance of the Australian residential mass production construction industry validating their pivotal role as a demand-side actor in a consumption-based demand and supply model. This identifies Volume Builders as the key actor who could then drive wide-spread adoption of sustainability innovation in Australian mass-produced housing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Supply Chains)
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