Environmental principles applicable to supplychains design and operation
Giannis T. Tsoulfas, Costas P. Pappis*
University of Piraeus, Department of Industrial Management, 80 Karaoli and Dimitriou street, 18534 Piraeus, Hellas, Greece
Received 8 November 2004; accepted 9 May 2005
In this paper we deal with the problem of identifying environmental principles for the design and operation of supply chains. Theoperations that are included in supply chains are brieﬂy described along with the approaches that are applied in order to improvetheir environmental performance. A background of environmental principles for achieving eco-eﬃciency and building of environmentally friendly organizational systems is presented and emphasis is put on the application of such principles ‘‘from cradleto grave’’. Then, environmental principles applicable to particular objects of logistics networks planning are identiﬁed andcommented upon. In addition, selective case studies from the literature, which show the applicability of the formulated principlesand their relevance to practice, are discussed. The paper concludes with some remarks regarding the beneﬁts for companies andsocieties, in general, that occur as a result of the application of the formulated principles.
2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Environmental management; Supply chains; Sustainable development
Earth as a resource system has a limited capacity forsupporting a growing human population with anintensive exchange of materials and energy with itsenvironment. Communities, governments, busi-nesses, international agencies, and non-governmentorganizations are increasingly concerned with establish-ing a means to monitor performance and to assessprogress towards sustainable development. The latter isdeﬁned as meeting the needs of the current generationwithout compromising the ability of future generationsto meet their own needs. However, it is inevitablefor humans to consume resources to fulﬁll their ownneeds and it is impossible for them not to extract theresources at the present time. Thus, an alternativetowards sustainable development is to consume theresources which have less potential for depletion and notto utilize easily depleted resources.Closed-loop supply chains and recovery of usedproducts, in particular, have received much attentionlately due to the above mentioned factors. Whiletraditional logistics are perceived as managing thesupply of goods and/or services from the producer tothe (end) customeras well as internal logistics, andinput and output to the company, reverse logistics is theprocess of planning, implementing and controlling theeﬃcient and eﬀective inbound ﬂow and storage of secondary goods and related information opposite tothe traditional supply chain (SC) direction for thepurpose of recovering value or proper disposal.Just as economic globalization creates opportunities andposes challenges to our ability to formulate macroeco-nomic policies, so does environmental globalization.The opportunity for business proﬁt is an additional
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2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.05.021
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Journal of Cleaner Production