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Environmental Retail Supply Chains: when global Goliaths become environmental Davids

Kotzab, H, Munch, HM, de Faultrier, B and Teller, Christoph (2011) Environmental Retail Supply Chains: when global Goliaths become environmental Davids International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 39 (9). pp. 658-681.

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The purpose of this paper is (1) to develop a scale that evaluates the environmental elements in retail supply chains and (2) to examine the environmental supply chain management initiatives of the world’s largest 100 retailing companies.


The empirical evaluation has been executed through an investigative approach applying a web-scan framework which included the analysis of websites and publicly published documents such as annual reports and Corporate Social Responsibility reports.


We identified 34 environmental sustainability initiatives which we grouped into eight categories. They refer to ‘fundamental environmental attitude’, ‘use of energy’, ‘use of input material’, ‘product’, ‘packaging’, ‘transport’, ‘consumption’, and ‘waste’. The level of environmental supply chain management can be characterised as very operational and very short-term oriented (= green operations). Long-term oriented green-design-initiatives were hardly observed. Furthermore, the specific environmental activities of three retailers from Denmark, France and the United Kingdom were compared.

Research limitations

The empirical study investigates supply chain operations of retailers and excludes other areas of retail management. The results are based on material that is published by the respective companies and thus do not comprise internal reports.

Value of paper

The main contribution of this paper is to test the proposition that global retailers follow the path of the ‘greening Goliaths’, where environmental sustainability becomes a quasi industry standard for the ecological sustainability transformation of global retailing.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Kotzab, H
Munch, HM
de Faultrier, B
Date : 2011
DOI : 10.1108/09590551111159332
Copyright Disclaimer : This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 08 Feb 2012 11:19
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:30

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