Sustainable Supply Chain Management Practices in Petrochemical Industry Using Interpretive Structural Modeling

Sustainable Supply Chain Management Practices in Petrochemical Industry Using Interpretive Structural Modeling

Maryam Mohseni (University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran), Ali Abdollahi (Group of Entrepreneurship Management, Department of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran) and Seyed Hossein Siadat (Group of IT-Management, Department of Management and Accounting, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISSCM.2019010102

Abstract

Across different geographical and industrial boundaries, different firms are attempting to implement sustainability in their supply chain in response to pressures from different groups. This article aims at identifying and analyzing influential practices for implementing sustainable supply chain management (SSCM). By determining these practices, top management can focus on them in order to improve the performance of their supply chains. The petrochemical industry was selected because of its role in the Iranian economy and its considerable environmental and social impacts. The interpretive structural modeling (ISM) technique was used as a useful technique to identify interrelations between different sustainable practices. According to the results, set up reduction and pull production system (related to JIT practices) are driving other practices, and these practices have vital role among other practices. There are four practices related to evaluating and collaborating suppliers and other industry peers, which occupy the highest level.
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Introduction

The topic of sustainability in supply chain management is of interest in both academia and industry. Firms across geographical and industrial boundaries are implementing different sustainability initiatives in their supply chain in response to pressures from different groups like customers, government regulators, investors, employees, and even local and global competitors (Abidi et al., 2017). Iranian industries are specifically under pressure regarding issues of adoption of strategies for sustainability. At the current time, there is a lack of understanding on how to achieve sustainability in their supply chains. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the important and influential practices for implementing Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM). This research focuses on Iranian petrochemical industry.

Petrochemical industry refers to those industries that produce our daily life needed chemical materials from oil by processing and transforming hydrocarbon into final products which have about 10 to 15 times higher surplus value than its feed stock namely gas and crude oil. One advantage of this industry to be studied is its infinite possibility of producing thousands of chemical products that are used as feed to other industries (Malmasi et al., 2010). Although petrochemical industries are beneficial in our daily life, they are considered as environmental pollutant. It can be said that control of petrochemical industries pollution have been a cause for concern and is one of today’s international major challenges for saving our environment. The environmental impact of this industry, if the environmental standards and regulations are ignored, could cause disastrous impacts on the health of human community (Rooney, 2005). This industry can have environmental impacts due to the nature of their activities and process, such as its waste water, emissions and other hazardous wastes (Jia et al., 2004).

Different products of petrochemical industry that are utilized in different industries, include detergents, paint, serum, auto parts tires etc. According to sustainable development, ignoring environmental and biological factors is equal to ignoring human health, which will lead to health, social and economical impacts (Malmasi et al., 2010). Additionally, because of tighter regulations and increased consumer and community pressures, companies need to incorporate social concerns into their supply chain practices (Marshall et al., 2014). Our literature review shows that majority of the studies have focused on environmental dimension and fewer researches have addressed the social dimension of sustainability (Kleindofer et al., 2005; Seuring and Muller, 2008).

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