Sustainability in Retail Supply Chains

Jones, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-9393 and Comfort, Daphne (2020) Sustainability in Retail Supply Chains. International Journal of Sales, Retailing and Marketing, 9 (2). pp. 51-60.

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Large retailers have been taking an increasing interest in sustainable development for the past 20 years. Although retailers play a central role in supply chains, research into sustainability within retailers’ supply chains has been limited. With this in mind, this paper provides an exploratory review of how the five leading retailers in both the US and the UK are addressing supply chain issues in their latest sustainability reports. The paper revealed that all ten retailers addressed sustainability in the supply chain as part of their reporting on a range of issues including sustainable sourcing, human rights, carbon emissions, and waste management, but that there was no dedicated or discrete focus on sustainability in the supply chain within the reporting process. At the same time, many of the retailers’ approaches to sustainability in the supply chain were aspirational and this raised issue of cost and external assurance. Looking forwards, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains to be seen how much enthusiasm, political will and investor support, large retailers will have to continue to sustainability agendas in their supply chains. However, if large retailers do look to introduce more rigorous environmental, social and economic measures into their supply chains, this will provide a major challenge for, and potentially a radical change to, their conventional business models.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Published article freely available from the publisher's website, See publisher link.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Retailers; Sustainability; Supply Chain; Business Model; US; UK
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5428 Retail Trade
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2023 09:32

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