From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Sustainable Development
Mains level : Paper 3- Sustainable development
The article explains the importance of focusing on the green supply chain for ensuring sustainability along with the progress of the organisations.
Sustainability as an essential issue
- The U.N’s. Millennium Development Goals and the World Bank Group’s global practices have recognised sustainability as an essential issue of global importance.
- Economic, social and other forms of sustainability have evolved over the years, but it is environmental sustainability that has gained significant popularity.
Economy and sustainability
- Some firms have positioned environmental practices at the forefront due to legislation, and industry and government commitments.
- Several firms have prioritised environmental practices due to compelling regulatory norms, and a potential to manage costs, risks and optimise eco-friendly practices.
- However, organisations in the manufacturing sector focus on waste reduction and energy efficiency improvements excessively and fail to see the big picture of environmentalism.
Adopting green supply chains for long-lasting benefits
- Only through organisational learning can people be urged to work towards long-lasting benefits.
- In this context, green supply chain practices are useful.
- These include green procurement, green manufacturing, green distribution, and reverse logistics.
- With practices starting from acquisition of eco-friendly raw material to disposal/ reuse/ recycle of used products, employees, suppliers, distributors, retailers and customers will be able to integrate environmental concerns in the daily operations of a firm.
- Thus, green supply chain practices enable organisational learning in environmental sustainability.
- Research shows that the positive impacts of environmentalism can only be felt in the long term when they get embedded into organisational learning systems through green supply chain practices.
- The resultant learning system smoothens the knowledge flow in the organisation.
Focusing on linkages
- Linkages between green supply chain practices, corporate environmental performance, corporate economic performance is necessary for an organisation’s progress and environmental protection.
- When the different players of a manufacturing supply chain realise the inherent benefits associated with organisational learning dimensions, their drive towards environmentalism increases.
Policymakers should support this thinking by not merely imposing environmental practices as regulatory norms but by emphasising on the creation of green supply chain-based learning systems in manufacturing.