Sustainable Production Practices and Determinant Factors of Green Supply Chain Management of Chinese Companies

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Business Strategy and the Environment Bus. Strat. Env. 21, 1–16 (2012) Published online 16 February 2011 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/bse.705

Sustainable Production: Practices and Determinant Factors of Green Supply Chain Management of Chinese Companies Xianbing Liu,1* Jie Yang,2 Sixiao Qu,2 Leina Wang,2 Tomohiro Shishime1 and Cunkuan Bao2 1

Kansai Research Centre, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan 2 College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, China

ABSTRACT This paper explores the green supply chain management (GSCM) of companies based in the Yangtze River Delta, China. The companies’ overall GSCM practice level (LGSCM) is measured by using the data from 165 valid respondents in a questionnaire survey conducted during April and May 2009. The relationships between LGSCM and the classified determinant factors are analyzed. It is indicated that Chinese companies are still at a preliminary stage of GSCM practices. Their environmental management in cooperation with external members of the supply chain is very marginal. A company’s LGSCM is significantly and positively associated with the external pressures from regulatory, domestic clients and business competitors. As an internal factor, a company’s learning capacity greatly determines LGSCM. We also confirm that the internal factors function as intermediate variables of external pressures in influencing a company’s GSCM. A company’s environmental management capacities will be strongly enhanced by frequent internal training of employees to increase its involvement in GSCM practices. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. Received 5 July 2010; revised 14 December 2010; accepted 16 December 2010 Keywords: sustainable production; green supply chain management; practices; determinant factors; China

Introduction
environment, in the forms of pollutant generation, ecosystem disruption and depletion of resources (Fiksel, 1996). The pressures and drivers from abroad accompanying globalization have pushed manufacturers in developing economies like China to improve their environmental performance (Zhu and Sarkis, 2006). Environmental concerns gradually become part of the overall business culture and, in turn, help re‐engineer the development strategies of corporations (Madu et al., 2002). Corporate environmental management (CEM) has been moving from traditional pollution control and risk management towards product life‐cycle * Correspondence to: Xianbing Liu, Kansai Research Centre, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hitomirai Building 4F, 1‐5‐2, Wakinohama Kaigan Dori, Chuo‐ku, Hyogo, 651‐0073, Japan. E‐mail: liu@iges.or.jp Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

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UT OF ALL BUSINESS OPERATIONS, MANUFACTURING PROCESSES ARE VIEWED TO HAVE THE HIGHEST IMPACTS ON THE

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management and industrial ecology. Recently, CEM has extended to certain boundary‐spanning activities like green procurement, product stewardship, reverse logistics and so on (Zsidisin and Siferd, 2001; Snir, 2001; Prahinski and Kocabasoglu, 2006). These practices are related to supply chain management, which requires various interactions between the core manufacturer and the other entities along the supply chain, either the upstream suppliers or downstream distributors and customers. The concept of supply chain management for environmental protection was first put forward by Drumwright (1994), which identified the characteristics of those companies introducing new manufacturing ideas. Later, green supply chain management (GSCM) was defined as a new term by the Manufacturing Research Association at Michigan State University, USA (Handfield, 1996). The fast economic growth of China has greatly relied on the extensive expansion of manufacturing industries which produce resource‐intensive but cheap goods for foreign markets. The regulatory...
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