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Sustainability in the Global Supply Chain

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This paper presents the theoretical foundation of sustainability in the global supply chain. This paper also provides analysis of tools and methods of Wal-Mart current practice in the field of supply chain regarding sustainability.

Sustainability in the Global Supply Chain


Globalization shifts the paradigms of production towards developing countries because of the low cost of production. On the other hand, from the global supply chains new challenges and risk emerges, such as the inconsistent supply change quality, cross-cultural, and political issues. The other aspect of sustainability in the global chain is because of the environmental and social issues, such as wastes, recycling, by-products, child labor, bribery, and workplace conditions.

Now-a-days, the external and internal forces drive the companies to go green, because of the change in the rules and regulation, customer preferences, as well as the vision of the company. For instance, the large appliances' manufacturer to design a new generation of washers and dryers must take into account new rules and regulations of product recovery. The large SUV's becomes environment friendly pays top-dollar for smaller and hybrid vehicles, in the United States. Today, the manufactures try to recycle waste to reduce emission, reduce the use of energy, and try to make by-products. Furthermore, companies are now thinking in terms of sustainability, and to go beyond green.

In economic terms, the sustainability is to fulfill current needs but not at the future generation cost or that will have an effect on the ability of the needs of future generation. Kleindorfer (2005) defines the sustainability under operations management as the way of generating profit on capital assets, but not on the cost of environment, and rightful needs of internal and stakeholders.

The researchers identified two broad areas of sustainability in the global supply chain. The first area covers the effort made locally to improve sustainability in the supply chain. Conversely, it is argued that this local sustainability is enough effort to improve sustainability in the supply chain boosts the overall entire chain's sustainability. The second area covers global performance measures in which overall industry performance of economies and countries is assessed. This area is very broad and covers multiple indicators, such as the measures that are multidimensional to assess difficult concepts like competitiveness in the industry, health care system's performance, as well as the interest of human beings.


Carter & Roger (2008) defines sustainability in the ...
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