Sustainability in retail supply chains: A study on the ten world’s largest retailers
Sustainable development has been gaining more and more attention on the discussion agenda on different levels of society for the past 20 years. Consequently, many businesses have responded to take action in accordance to their role in society and the opportunities available to them. However, despite the overall increase of awareness on sustainability issues, the results so far have not been satisfactory. In this study authors choose to investigate retailers, due to the unique position they hold – acting as a link between production and consumption, retailers are able to influence and promote sustainable business practice throughout their supply chains. Thus, the main purpose of the study has been to investigate how retailers integrate sustainability in their business operations and strategies with supply chain perspective. In the first part of the study, authors explore how academic literature has discussed the concept of sustainability from one company perspective and in supply chains. In the second part, authors examine how 10 biggest global retailers operationalize the concept in their supply chains. Having developed a framework for assessing how retailers integrate sustainability in their practice, authors identify following key findings: the global retail giants focus more on environmental and social aspects of the sustainability, neglecting economic dimension; sustainability has not been applied with a supply chain perspective; and mostly the efforts regarding sustainability integration into business practice are done on the operational level rather than strategic.
Master of Science In Logistics and Transport Management