Sustainability and Green Operations Management: Concept, Theory, and Practice

Sustainability and Green Operations Management: Concept, Theory, and Practice

Hezekiah Oladimeji (Durban University of Technology, South Africa), Shalini Singh (Durban University of Technology, South Africa) and Olayinka Olubukola Afolabi (HANDEL Institute, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7967-1.ch009
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Abstract

For over four decades now there has been global concerns emerging from environmental considerations. Sustainability was introduced subsequently as a concept to reconcile these environmental dynamics with other ‘pillars' of sustainable development (social and economic). These global concerns of the environment indicate the importance of green operations management towards optimal utilisation of organisational resources and sustainable management of the entirety of the systems. To this end, this chapter is aimed at providing a review and discussions on relevant historical literature on sustainability and green operations management.
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Environmental Issues In Operations Management

Walker, Seuring, Sarkis and Klassen (2014) argued that environmental issues have been of growing concerns within the last three decades due to enormous number of changes in business activities and the society at large, leading to global interests in green manufacturing, reverse logistics, recycling and reductions of waste and carbon-monoxide (CO2) emissions. Necessity for environmental issues in Operations Management evolved over a period of time as the results of numerous environmental misdeeds (Pane-Haden, Oyler and Humphreys, 2009). Today, operations managers are faced with environmental issues in their daily managerial decisions as attempts are made in ensuring success in sustainable economic, business ethics and social values (Molia-Azorin, Claver-Cortes, Lopez-Gamero and Tari, (2009).

The environment, according to Purvis, Mao and Robinson (2018), is identified and discussed as one of the three pillars of sustainable development. This is known to include the environmental factors (or ‘goals’). Others are economic and social as depicted in Fig. 1. These are referred to as ‘dimensions’ in Carter and Moir (2012), described as ‘Perspectives’ in Arushanyan, Ekener and Moberg (2012), termed as ‘stool legs’ in Dawe and Ryan (2003) but viewed as ‘Components’ in Zijp, Heijungs and van der Voet, et al (2015). These pillars are the triple bottom line of sustainability (Walker, Seuring, Sarkis and Klassen, 2014)

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