You are required to conduct a thorough literature search (academic journals) in order to prepare the research report.
Supply chain management is the process to control the flow of products and goods of an organization. With the increase of global warming, it has become utterly important for business entities to control the emission of Greenhouse gasses. According to Balinski and Grantham (2013), the total amount of Greenhouse gases produced by the direct and indirect activities is known as carbon footprint. It is measured in tons. As Ashby et al. (2012) stated that, managing carbon footprint of products has become an important aspect of next generation business. From various previous research works, it has been found that there are several issues for which companies need to action to improve their supply chain activities. They are such as increase in the direct energy cost, development of legislations that penalize high-energy consumption and increase of awareness of customers about climate change (Toke et al. 2012). For this reason, companies need to develop reverse logistics and green supply chain to control GHG emission. Reverse supply chain includes process such as refurbishing and recycling.
The major aim of this research work is to find out the relationship between reverse supply chain management and carbon footprint reduction.
The major objectives for this research works are such as:
• To measure carbon footprints across different industries
• To analyze the impact of reverse supply chain development on carbon foot print reduction
• To develop effective reverse logistics that can reduce carbon foot prints without affecting production
All these research objectives will be analyzed depending on various update peer review journals and research articles.
In order to conduct this report in efficient manner, it is required to gather information from various updated peer-reviewed journals. As Teixeira et al. (2013) stated that, assumptions and observations given in peer-reviewed journals can help to improve quality of research work. All the journals and articles related with supply chain and carbon footprint reduction are collected via internet. All these journals are critically analyzed and arguments are developed depending on the findings
In order to conduct this research work in efficient manner, it is required to gather up-to-date information on reverse logistics, green supply chain and carbon footprint. In order to conduct this research work as all peer reviewed and academic journals are gathered from internet. Most of the journals are gathered from Google Scholar. Majority of the journals are taken in between the period of 2007 to 2014. In this section a table has been provided, to show which article contributed in this study percentage wise.
These are the journals which have major contribution in conducting this assignment. There are various other journals have been studied for this research work. They have 10-15% contribution in developing this assignment.
In this assignment all the literatures have been collected, which are related with green supply chain management, reverse logistics and carbon emission. The major objective of this study is to understand the relationship between reverse logistics and carbon foot printing. It has been found that consumer’s and stakeholder’s expectation from a company is expecting dramatically. It has become necessity for organizations to demonstrate ethical and environment friendly behaviour. It has been found that most of the companies are part of a supply chain management system. In some research works it has been stated that development of reverse logistics and green supply chain and carbon trading activity can help a company to decrease its carbon emission rate. There are various steps have been given in this research works analyze the reverse logistics procedure. They are such as rejection by consumer, receptive capability of dealers to revert the product, judgment of the gate keeper, flow of information through supply chain, flow of information through supply chain and end disposal of products. There are various factors have been found that affect the sustainability of supply chain management of an organization. They factors are such as ecological value chain, sustainable growth, reverse logistics development, global awareness development about carbon emission and global carbon trading.
Reverse supply chain among different industries
Yin (2011) has developed a research work to analyze the feasibility of forward supply chain strategy in reverse supply chain in the electronic industry. According to this theory, there are major steps related with reverse supply chain development. They are such as acquisition of products, reverse logistics, inspection and disposition, reconditioning and redistribution. In this research work it has been described that two major electronic companies of China have increased their focus on reverse supply chain development to decrease carbon footprint. It includes after sales service, claim management and warranty management. These companies exchange their end-of-life and end-of-use products with their latest products, which decrease the emission of Green House gas emission. As Spinellis and Louridas (2013) mentioned that, presently electronic companies replaces and recycle their electronic products (especially mobiles and computers) to reduce carbon emission.
Within the period of 1990 and 2015, the notable shift is seen among the retail organizations as they have started to think about sustainability and green supply chain management in their organizations. In case of retail industry, it has been found that majority of the carbon emission is caused due to electricity consumption, gas consumption and transport fleet fuel consumption (Sharma and Singh 2013). In the figure given below, the carbon footprint of the company Woolworth has been given.
From that time, until now several types of activities were undertaken by the organizations. According to Sarkis (2012), with the time, the processes to gain green supply
However, as mentioned by McIntire (2014), the organization did not take the initiative at first place. They were forced to develop code of conducts and they began auditing factories to mitigate the potential bad quality after the case of Nike. At that time, the authorities of various retail companies started to design products, the whole structure of business from an environmental perspective. On the other hand, according to McIntire (2014), the motivation of implementing green supply chain management came from the benefits of this system that could help the organizations to gain cost saving and risk management objectives. That is why the retail companies have taken several sustainability initiatives in order to minimize operational cost including energy used, time, and money and consumed for meeting regulations. These activities are totally controlled by the retail companies that can crate instant value and are called as “low-hanging fruit” of sustainable supply chain management.
However Liang et al. (2013) stated that, most of the organizations only focused on the issues within the operations and in order to gain sustainability which as actually a narrow process. They totally ignored that fact that the biggest sustainability concerns lie outside of retail operations and mostly comes from supply chain. Therefore, later the organizations of retail industry started to engage their suppliers and took the initiative to make them responsible for maintaining green supply chain procedures. Several processes were undertaken by the organizations in order to implement green supply chain management. The Walmart took one of the most well renowned processes. The authority asked 15 questions with input from suppliers, academia, non-profit organizations and the retail community to understand the position of the supply chain shareholders (Lamont 2013). Another target of these questions was to motivate them to consider sustainability targets. In this way not only Wal-Mart, but also some other organizations improved the engagement of the suppliers.
According to Hoejmose and Adrien-Kirby (2012), it was also necessary to engage with the other stakeholders in order to minimize and remove the issues related to life cycle analysis to material procurement and disposal. The retail companies also collaborated with other organizations in order to manage the issues related to their supply chain management. The benefits of collaboration with other third party logistic companies is shown in the figure below,
The chances are high that in the future a huge change will be observed in the sustainable supply chain activities. These processes would become more independent, transparent and integrated which will help both the retailer organizations and suppliers to change their behavior.
In the research work developed by McKinnon (2007), it has been found that carbon footprint can be measured as the total amount of CO2 emission caused due to various activities accumulated over the life stage of a product. In this journal, the carbon foot print for the chocolate manufacturing company dairy milk has been given. It has been found that the majority of carbon emission takes place due to in-house production (62%) and vegetable fat (20%).
There are different approaches have been taken by various industries to reduce carbon emission. For example, company Tesco has decided provide carbon levels on its product verities such as orange juices, potato chips. As Green et al. (2012) stated that, the buying decision of customers is highly influenced by consumer behaviour. It has been found that there are more than 56% of the customers provide significant value to the carbon footprint level of food products. Hence, in order retain sustainable position in the food processing market, all food and beverage companies need to focus on developing reverse logistics.
As Chaabane et al. (2012) stated that, there are some standards available to indicate the limit of carbon emission. They are such as ISO 14064, world Business Council for Sustainable development. All these standards help to define the boundary and allocating responsibility for Carbon emission. In order to reduce the amount of carbon emission, a company needs to focus on developing reverse supply chain. A food processing company needs to make balance of carbon emission for its labor inputs and mechanical inputs (Brandenburg et al. 2014). A company needs to use the by-products of production in another commercial purpose. The company needs to share vehicles, freight terminals and warehouse required for production distribution with other organizations. It will reduce the overall carbon emission of both the organizations. The company needs to develop reverse logistics by allocating CO2 credits for recycling. For example, the company Young’s has developed a reverse logistics to deliver its Prawns from Scotland to Bangkok and England. The company replaces all the machines to hand-peeling to improve the quality of production (Bing and Yanbin 2013). It also reduces the total amount of carbon emission.
Transportation systems in supply chain management are the major reason of causing carbon emissions. Therefore, the business organizations tried to implement new strategies in order to maintain a green transportation to reduce the level of carbon emission in the environment. For example, in India, the manufacturing companies are very much focused in terms of green transportation initiatives. According to Bhateja et al. (2012), most of the companies maintain their vehicles by providing regular services.
In other part of the world, the organizations are using several highly advanced processes and technologies in its corporate levels, distribution centers and transportation operations. After the collaboration of the main organization with a third party logistic organization, those third party companies started to take activities such as training the employees working in transportation department about the benefits of sustainability. However, according to Benjaafar and Daskin (2013), these trainings were also intended for all the employees in the organization. This was the most commonly used activity to implement sustainability.
Another popular method activity was joint process improvement. Joint process improvement is a strategy that involves the association of supply chain partners in the implementation of green supply chain management in the transportation departments. As mentioned by Bai and Sarkis (2013), many BIC logistics organizations are already using strategies and method that are helping to monitor and minimize the emission of GHG. It is also helping to optimize the efficient delivery services.
Two most popular BIC green supply-chain management processes are load maximization and vehicles tracking processes. Load maximization is a process that allows the organizations to change the shape of delivery containers so that a vehicle can transport maximum number of containers at a time (Rubio and Jiménez-Parra 2014). On the other hand, vehicle-tracking system includes monitoring a vehicle’s internal and external condition. Based on this condition those vehicles are sent for servicing. Most of the organizations are using these strategies as these green supply chain management transportation processes include low amount of risk and negligible amount of capital investment. Besides, these systems can easy to implement in the organization and helps to gain short-term-return-on-investment periods.
Some organizations are also thinking about hybrid vehicles and aerodynamic trailers as they have longer ROI periods. In adopting new technologies and enhancing transportation management Canada is the leading country as most of the country’s BIC logistic organizations that provide transportation services has already implemented anti-idle technologies and energy efficient vehicles. In other places, in order to minimize GHG emission (Green house gas emission), most BIC logistics and transportation provider companies are using multi-modal transportation such as rail transportation. Some of the organizations are also planning to reduce truck transportations in order to increase marine transportation. They are also planning to reduce air transportation, as it is one of the biggest reasons of pollution. However, these decisions are yet to make by the companies as marine transportation will increase the time of delivery which will affect the customer services.
Kumar and Kumar (2013) had developed a literature review on closed loop supply chain management and reverse logistics. In this article, it has been mentioned that chemical and pharmaceutical companies are now more focused on two major aspects related with supply chain management. They are such as waste management program and reduction of waste program. As Huscroft et al. (2013) stated that waste management program is focused on effective handling of Hazardous waste.On the contrary, waste reduction program is focused on reducing waste production. Hoejmose and Adrien-Kirby (2012) had provided an eight point strategy model that can help chemical manufacturers to take care of the environment in effective manner. These points are such as increasing efficiency to cut down waste, sell waste to some other, developing plants to convert wastes into raw materials and work with local community to agree conditions of disposal. Recycling used products and building treatment plants jointly with other companies can increase sustainability of chemical firms. Following the activities of other organizations can help chemical companies to develop effective supply chain (Bai and Sarkis 2013).
After analyzing all the research works related with reverse supply chain management and its relation with carbon footprint reduction, it has been found that, with the increase of customer’s and stakeholder’s expectations, it has become a necessity for business organizations to show potentially responsible behavior. It has been found form the above data analysis that most of the firms of different industries are part of supply chain. In this section, depending on the journal article review, theoretical model has been developed on how firms can use reverse supply chain to restrict carbon emissions.
In this model a single organizations need to be considered, which is facing problem related with excessive carbon emission. As Bai and Sarkis (2013) stated that, in absence of carbon emission consideration, an organization develops its supply chain activity to reduce production cost, inventory holding cost and transportation cost. However, with the increase of awareness about carbon emission, it has become necessity for an organization to shift its focus on reducing carbon emission. It needs to develop reverse supply chain system, which includes reusing and recycling of end-of-life materials (Bai and Sarkis 2013). Recycling of old products, can help to reduce carbon emission in various ways. They are such as reducing emission due to transportation of goods and raw materials, restricting carbon emission during product development and reducing emission due to production handling. This model is applicable for electronic manufacturing companies. They can apply this model to develop reverse supply chain system. They can gather end-of-life products from their customers and recycle them. It will reduce the total amount of carbon emission by the company.
It has been found from the previous research works that, the constraints related with carbon dioxide emission reduction have been increased drastically in the last decade. This model shows that two or more firms can develop collaboration in their reverse supply chain system to overcome all the constraints related with carbon caps. It has been found from this model that cost reduction of each organization is related with the entire supply chain. Organization can gather two major benefits from this collaboration. They are such as reduction in carbon emission and reduction in the production cost (Bai and Sarkis 2013). The major advantage of this collaborative reverse supply chain system is that, the carbon emission can be reduced from high range to low range without making major adjustments in the cost of production. However, it can be analyzed that although the total reverse supply chain cost and carbon emission is low, the implication of this theoretical model can increase the cost of production or carbon emission of firms (Lamont 2013). This model is highly applicable in chemical industries, which are facing problems with waste management. They can collaborate with each other to develop effective waste management system, which is an effective part of reverse supply chain management system.
From the empirical studies discussed earlier, it has been found that there is a strong connection between reverse logistics, green supply chain and carbon trading. With the help of reverse logistics, a company is not only able to develop reverse supply chain in comprehensive and synchronized manner, it also help to develop green supply chain with the help of refurbishing and recycling. Development of green supply chain and reverse logistics helps to limit the carbon trading. It has been found that reverse logistics is the tangible movement of products from customer’s end towards producer’s end. It provides a 360 degree loop in the supply chain management system and provides opportunity to minimize cost. On the other hand, green supply chain is the procedure to improvise and optimize the existing supply chain framework to use the resources in the most beneficial and profitable manner. By reviewing various journal articles it has been found that re-cycling and re-using of end-of-life products is an important part of green supply chain. The application of green supply chain has been found majorly in electronic industry.
In the last decade, with the increase of global climate change, carbon emission has become one of the major debatable topics. Carbon emission is directly related with human consumption and production, which affects the climate change. From various previous research works the major generators of the carbon dioxide have been find out. They are such as electricity, chemical, automotive, transportation and land filling. It has been found that electricity is one of the most important commodities of modern world. However, the magnitude of carbon emission from the electricity generation has significant impact on the global climate change. From previous research works it has been found that chemical companies use land filling to dump all the chemical wastage. It is one of the major generators of carbon dioxide. In order to control carbon emission, a framework has been developed named as carbon trading. It is the method of exchanging credit between various countries, who are working on carbon emission reduction.
Depending on the above arguments, an inter-relationship has been developed among reverse logistics, carbon trading and carbon emission (jointly known as carbon footprint). With the help of reverse supply chain an aligned network can be developed, which can help to reduce carbon emission in the form of carbon foot printing. Reverse supply chain is an optimized process to conduct the tail end activities, which leads to reduction of unproductive and wasteful activities. Hence, it can be said that reverse supply chain has indirect contribution to the reduction of resources, which can create high amount of pollutions. There are some major factors related with reverse supply chain management, which have contribution in sustainable carbon foot printing. These factors are such as ecological value chain, sustainable growth, reverse logistics development, global awareness development about carbon emission and global carbon trading.
Conclusion based on findings
After analyzing all the updated research works related with reverse supply chain logistics and reduction of carbon emission it has been found that companies all around the world have increased their effort to manage and reduce carbon footprint. It has been found that irrespective of the industry, every business organization has understood the importance carbon management in the supply chain. There are 4 major steps in which an organization can reduce carbon emission in the supply chain. They are such as developing communication system to deliver performance, setting the right target, integration of information and focusing on performance improvement. There are various policies have been developed to improve the quality of production and reducing carbon emission. Most of the companies have increased their focus on developing reverse supply chain activities. It includes reusing and recycling of end-of life products. It has been found that electronic and chemical companies have major contribution in carbon dioxide production.
The reverse logistics of electronic companies includes factors such as acquisition of products, reverse logistics, inspection and disposition, reconditioning and redistribution. On the other hand chemical companies can implement waste management program and reduction of waste program. There is an eight point strategy model has been develop that can help chemical manufacturers to take care of the environment in effective manner. These points are such as increasing efficiency to cut down waste, sell waste to some other, developing plants to convert wastes into raw materials and work with local community to agree conditions of disposal. There are various other organizations from different industries who have taken initiatives to reduce carbon emission. Many food and beverage organization has thought to provide carbon levels on its product verities. Depending on the critical analysis done on various journals, there are some theoretical models have been developed. From these theatrical models it has been derived that two organizations can work collaboratively to reduce carbon emission rate.
Supply chain is a huge topic, which has a vast scope of research. In future, researchers can make empirical investigation to measure the scale of green supply chain practices among different manufacturers. A study can be developed on the green supply chain. Supply chain activity can be measured in terms of geography as well. In future, researchers can develop a comparative analysis between small scale industries of developed nations and developing nations. It has been found that there is still some confusion related with appropriate development of reverse supply chain activity. Researchers can make an in-depth study on stages related with reverse logistics.
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