The value of Green Supply Chains

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Organizations worldwide are continuously trying to develop new and innovative ways to enhance their competitiveness. Bacallan (2000) suggests that some of these organizations are enhancing their competitiveness through improvements in their environmental performance to comply with mounting environmental regulations, to address the environmental concerns of their customers, and to mitigate the environmental impact of their production and service activities. Green supply chain management as a form of environmental improvement is an operational initiative that many organizations are adopting to address such environmental issues.

Currently, the “green concept� is a critical issue for companies, but when the majority of businesses are cost focused, the idea of implementing and moving toward green practices is often seen as a costly strategy. Bowen et al. (2001) state that organizations will adopt green supply chain management practices if they identify that this will result in speci�c �nancial and operational bene�ts.

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According to Routroy (2009), Greening the manufacturing supply chain may result in one or more benefits, in terms of cost reduction, operational efficiency improvement, flexibility improvement, sales enhancement, customer value enhancement, and societal image improvement.

Green supply chain management is also to enhance firms’ environmental performance through inter-organizational collaboration with business partners and increase efficiency by cost saving programs and proactive risk management practices (Hervani et al., 2005; Rao and Holt, 2005; Zhu and Sarkis, 2007).

We will review the literature about Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) concept and then we will see how it is translated within the supply chains. Then, the common purpose of this research will be to identify the link between GSCM and overall firm performance. We decided, based on the literature and on a specific framework (Rao & Holt, 2005) applied in Asia, to tackle the concept of green supply chain management in Western Europe by including environmental initiatives in:

(1) Inbound logistics;

(2) Production or the internal supply chain;

(3) Outbound logistics, including reverse logistics.

Nowadays, how organisations are implementing GSCM and what are the impacts on their business? At the end of this research we will identify the best practices, and the way they are they measured. Moreover, we will see in what extent an effective Green Supply Chain Management could be a driver for innovation and business performance in manufacturing firms? Finally, we will see if Green Supply Chain Management lead to profitability and competitiveness. Our study will consider manufacturing companies in Western Europe.

II Literature review

Definition

Green supply chain management

Several studies have considered the concept of ecological sustainability as a framework for studying management practices in both operational and strategic contexts (Sarkis and Rasheed, 1995; Klassen and McLaughlin, 1996; King and Lenox, 2001). As part of this effort,

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