Blending Green with Lean - Incorporating Best-of-the-Breed Practices to Formulate an Optimum Global Supply Chain Management Framework: Issues and Concerns

Blending Green with Lean - Incorporating Best-of-the-Breed Practices to Formulate an Optimum Global Supply Chain Management Framework: Issues and Concerns

Sudhanshu Joshi (Doon University, India) and Manu Sharma (Unison IMS University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5039-8.ch018


This chapter identifies potential areas in which firms can integrate green into current business practices based on the existing literature. An extensive literature review was conducted to examine research and practice with respect to the concurrent implementation of green, lean, and global supply chain strategies. The applied literature analysis identifies that lean not only serves as a catalyst but is also synergistic for green. Lean is beneficial for green practices, and the implementation of green practices, in turn, also has a positive influence on existing global business practices (Dües, Tan, & Tim, 2013). The chapter provides an assessment of existing academic research on the relationship and links between lean and green supply chain management practices. Existing explanatory frameworks are explored and discussed, primarily based on objectives including: (a) identification processes where lean practices are synergized with a go-green philosophy of business, (b) advocating green practices as an essential element in the lean value chain, and (c) developing a green-lean framework based on existing literature for competitive advantage for business firms.
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A comprehensive yet significant literature review of empirical research work in the areas of Green Supply Chain Management, Lean Supply Chain Management and Global Supply Chain Management. A Step-by-Step approach was adopted for literature review (See Figure 1 and Table 1):

Figure 1.

Literature review methodology (adopted from Soni & Kodali, 2011; Joshi, 2013)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Just in Time (JIT): Is a production strategy that strives to improve a business return on investment by reducing in-process inventory and associated carrying costs. To meet JIT objectives, the process relies on signals or Kanban between different points, which are involved in the process, which tell production when to make the next part. Kanban are usually 'tickets' but can be simple visual signals, such as the presence or absence of a part on a shelf. Implemented correctly, JIT focuses on continuous improvement and can improve a manufacturing organization's return on investment, quality, and efficiency. To achieve continuous improvement key areas of focus could be flow, employee involvement and quality.

Sustainable Development: The term “sustainable development” was used by the Brundtland Commission (1987) , which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Globalization: Is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects ofculture. Advances in transportation and telecommunications infrastructure, including the rise of the telegraph and its posterity the Internet, are major factors in globalization, generating further interdependence of economic and cultural activities.

Lean Production: Lean manufacturing, lean enterprise, or lean production, often simply, “Lean,” is a production practice that considers the expenditure of resources for any goal other than the creation ofvalue for the end customer to be wasteful, and thus a target for elimination. Working from the perspective of the customer who consumes a product or service, “value” is defined as any action or process that a customer would be willing to pay for.

Supply Chain Management: Is the management of the flow of goods. It includes the movement and storage ofraw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses are involved in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply chain.

Environmental Management: Is the management of the interaction and impact of human societies on the environment. Environmental Management aims to ensure that ecosystem services are protected and maintained for future human generations, and also maintain ecosystem integrity through considering ethical, economic, and scientific (ecological) variables.

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