Is it Feasible to Implement Green Logistics in Emerging Markets?

Is it Feasible to Implement Green Logistics in Emerging Markets?

Marcus Thiell (School of Management, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia) and Juan Pablo Soto Zuluaga (School of Management, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/jal.2013010101

Abstract

Smog in industrial zones, the depletion of the ozone layer, and global warming demonstrate exemplarily the harmful impact of business activities on environmental systems and the societies that act within them. Therefore, customers and many governments around the world are developing a more conscious and respectful attitude toward the environment, turning environmental concerns into a central element of many companies’ competitive strategies. As a result of these developments, the implementation of green logistics systems is gaining increasing importance worldwide. Green logistics practices, once considered proactive measures (Wu & Dunn 1995), are now integral part of many supply chains, and in many markets, their presence has become a requirement for doing business. Despite this, little is known about the current state of global practices in green logistics and obstacles of implementing them in an emerging market context. Led by the question “Is it feasible to implement green logistics in emerging markets?”, the main objectives of this article are to provide a summary of green logistics practices within a structured framework and to give an overview about the obstacles of implementing green logistics systems in emerging markets.
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2. Background: Concept And Contribution To Value Creation

Green logistics consists of all activities related to the eco-effective and eco-efficient management of the forward and reverse flows of products and information between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet or exceed customer expectations. Given this definition, green logistics is not “new” in terms of re-inventing logistics, but it highlights the integration of ecological goals into the target systems of organizations in order to provide a balanced set of total value to customers (Carter & Rogers, 2008).

Put forward in the mid-80s (Beaman, 1999), green logistics is a concept to characterize logistics systems that employ advanced processes, materials, technology and equipment to minimize environmental impact during operations and to increase the utilization of resources within the systems (Rogers & Tibben-Lembke, 1998; Yanbo & Songxian, 2008). Transferring these general characteristics into activities, the scope of green logistics includes the following activity groups:

  • Transportation: clean vehicles, reuse of pallets and containers, freight consolidation and freight optimization, standardization of truck sizes, reduction of CO2 emissions, and sustainable carrier selection;

  • Warehousing: clean material handling equipment, reconditioning and reuse of pallets and containers, process optimization, automation of warehousing systems, inventory optimization, facility design, and on-site recycling;

  • Value added services: pallet and container pooling, tracking and tracing, and green packaging.

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