Sourcing to Support the Green Initiative

  • 1h 45m
  • Lisa Ellram, Wendy Tate
  • Business Expert Press
  • 2013

The 'green' or environmental sustainability movement has taken hold throughout the world. Its staying power is confirmed by that fact that environmental emphasis did not decrease during the recent global recession, but rather increased. Organizations see that greater environmental emphasis in their product and service offerings not only helps their image, but also may help reduce inefficiency, waste and corresponding cost. However, since most organizations rely heavily on their supply base for providing components, materials and services that become part of their final products, organizations must revisit their sourcing processes and choices to have a real impact on the environment. Sourcing to support an organization's green initiatives begins in the conception stage of new product development. Just as organizations consider the features that their products will provide to customers, they should also consider the environmental footprint of their products and services, and design them accordingly. Ideally, an environmentally sound product should be a goal of product design and suppliers should be made aware of that goal up front. Their continued role as a supplier may depend on their ability to meet the criteria set by the developer and they may need to retool for green in order to retain business.

This book begins with an introduction to the idea of sustainability and to the concept of what it means to source to support organization's green initiatives, and why this is important from a holistic, life cycle perspective. The initial chapters will also provide a point of view of how green sourcing fits into the organization's entire portfolio of sustainability initiatives. Examples of industries and associations that lead the way in green sourcing will be presented. In addition, best practices in green sourcing will be discussed. The book also provides a viewpoint on how organizations can encourage and support their suppliers in pursuing green initiatives, and what types of initiatives provide a good starting point. The final chapters of the book will present a view on end-of-life product issues and how they relate to green sourcing, and how the organization's transportation decisions and choices can support green sourcing and the overall goal of the organization to reduce its environmental footprint.

About the Authors

Lisa M. Ellram, PhD, CPA, CMA, CPM is the James E. Rees Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Farmer School of Business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She has published over 100 refereed articles in top academic and managerial journals and four textbooks. She is also the director of the Institute for Supply Management's A.T. Kearney Center for Strategic Supply Leadership, and Co- Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Supply Chain Management.

Wendy L. Tate, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Tate has published articles in California Management Review, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Journal of Operations Management, and others. She routinely presents at a variety of managerial and academic forums including the International Conference on Business and Sustainability, North American Association for Research and Teaching Symposium, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), and Decision Sciences.

In this Book

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Why Should We Care?
  • What is Sourcing to Support the Green Initiative?
  • What are Some Key Concepts in Understanding Green Sourcing and Its Impacts?
  • What Industries and Sectors Lead the Way—Part 1
  • What Industries and Sectors Lead the Way—Part 2
  • What is the Relationship between Transportation and Green Sourcing?
  • A Path Forward
  • Notes
  • References