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Supply chain sustainability
Supply chain sustainability

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2 The environmental perspective

Let’s now start the exploration of the sustainability perspectives with the perspective that tends to steal most of the limelight when talking about sustainability: the environmental perspective.

Described image
Figure 2 The environmental perspective

What does ‘environmental performance’ mean?

When people say the word ‘environmental’ when talking about supply chain sustainability, they may have various things in mind. Let’s begin the exploration of the environmental perspective in Activity 1 by discussing and agreeing what we mean by ‘environmental performance’.

Activity 1 Defining environmental performance

Timing: 15 minutes

Consider the term ‘environmental performance’. Note down the different areas that you think would need to be considered when evaluating the supply chain performance in that particular aspect.

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You will likely have come up with a long and diverse list of areas that will probably have been influenced by the industry you are employed in (or which you kept in mind otherwise). It will be impossible to discuss all the areas you have come up with, so let’s look at two aspects that will likely have featured prominently on your list: pollution (the release of unwanted matter into the environment) and changes to the ecosystem (alterations in the local habitats or environments because of the activities of the supply chain). We will explore these two aspects in the following areas of the supply chain:

  • logistics activities
  • manufacturing and production activities
  • waste disposal activities