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Build competitive advantage through the integration of sustainable supply chains

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2 Author(s)
Jianxin Xu ; Institute of Strategy and Management, School of Management, Hangzhou Dianzi University, 310012, China ; Hecheng Wang

Sustainability and corporate citizenship is a social ideal and a business necessity. Being sustainable is now a source of competitive advantage and a matter of corporate survival rather than a costly burden. Now many companies look on sustainability as a top-line priority. However, satisfying profit and sound corporate sustainability behavior will go unfulfilled unless orderly supply chains literally and sustainably "deliver the goods". Achieving genuine sustainability is the result of making supply chains more sustainable. Since typically 50 percent of a product's value, and often upward of 70 percent, is derived from suppliers, claims of corporate sustainability are likely just empty promises without the support from the whole supply chain. Companies and consumers realize that customers do not just buy products, they also buy the whole supply chain that delivers the products. We organize our key views in four parts. At first, after a brief introduction, we discuss the reason of building sustainable supply chains, and the relation between a sustainable firm and sustainable supply chains. Then, we described the characteristics of sustainable supply chain management, including devising a sustainable strategy, retooling the organization, managing supplier relations and monitoring and enforcing performance. Thirdly, we provide some advice on how to build the sustainable supply chains, and on the base of which to help a firm to build up its sustainable competitive advantage, in the end of the paper, we take Timberland as a case for further discussion.

Published in:

Service Operations and Logistics, and Informatics, 2008. IEEE/SOLI 2008. IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

12-15 Oct. 2008