Sustainable Supply Chain Management in Iranian Manufacturing Companies

Sustainable Supply Chain Management in Iranian Manufacturing Companies

Maryam Azizsafaei (University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom) and Deneise Dadd (Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJoSE.2020070103
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Despite the considerable concentration on sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) among manufacturing organizations, Iranian manufacturing companies are still in the initial stage. Due to significant development in manufacturing industries in Iran, environmental concerns have become the highest concerns for stakeholders. SSCM practices have a straightforward linkage with environmental performance. Consequently, this question was raised that what are the impacts of adopting SSCM practices on environmental performance (EP) in Iranian manufacturing companies? According to the results of this study, the following outcomes have obtained: there is a positive relationship between sustainable purchasing and sustainable logistics and internal environmental management (IEM). On the contrary, sustainable production and sustainable design have not a significant relationship with IEM. In addition, the findings indicate the positive and significant effect of SSCM practices on EP.
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1. Introduction

This section attempts to provide an outline of the background, scope, research question and objectives, research significance, and research structure in this study.

1.1. Research Background

One of the most significant leverages and competitive advantage of the current business climate is appropriate management of supply chains (Bratic, 2011; Carter and Ellram, 2003). The general consciousness and knowledge regarding environmental aspects along with concentration on supply chain management are growing (Giunipero et al., 2008). Intensive pressures are being exerted from regulatory bodies regarding clearance of environmental and ethical performance in different organisations. In addition, increasing expectation of stakeholders along with pressures from institutions play a significant role in shifting from the traditional supply chain management (SCM) to Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) (Kumar et al., 2014a; Lozano, 2008; Vezzoli et al., 2012). Due to various processes and operations in SCM with direct impacts on the environmental aspect, the continual measurement of environmental performance is essential (Handfield et al., 2005).

SSCM integrates SCM and sustainable development (SD) support companies to decrease their current SCM costs and attain a considerable competitive superiority (Seuring and Müller, 2008). In the last decade, significant numbers of literature and industries indicate particular interest regarding two contents: SSCM and Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM). This particular focus relies on the fact that they are optimistic about minimising adverse effects on the environment by adopting SSCM practices (Mudgal et al., 2009; Lozano et al., 2015).

However, Zhu et al. (2013) debate that there is a lack of comprehensive literature by focusing on the causal relationship between SSCM constructs and their equivalent performance outcomes. This inadequacy is more significant in emerging countries, such as Iran, compared to developed countries, such as the UK (Jayaram and Avittathur, 2015).

According to latest ranking of the World Economic Forum (2018) based on the Inclusive Development Index (IDI), Iran ranks 27th among the 74 emerging countries, which illustrates a 0.92% decrease between 2012 and 2016. The three main pillars that were measured in this assessment include growth and development, inclusion, and intergenerational equity and sustainability. Each pillar is evaluated using the key performance indicators such as GDP per capita growth, labour proactivity growth, net income trend, poverty trend, carbon intensity trend, etc. Lithuania, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Poland, Panama, Croatia, Uruguay, Chile, and Romania are the top 10th emerging countries in this list.

Consequently, this study attempts to identify the potential impacts of SSCM practices on environmental performance and bridge the knowledge gap in the recent literature. This study particularly concentrated on manufacturing organisations in Iran. Manufacturing companies, as the considerable consumers of the energy and other resources, can have extensive impacts on environmental performance. Both global and domestic areas can be affected by the consequences of this considerable resource consumption and its corresponding environmental destruction by manufacturing sections (Kuik et al., 2011).

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