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The challenge of greening global product chains: meeting both ends

  • Walter J. V. Vermeulen

    (Utrecht University, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation, Department of Environmental Studies and Policies, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

  • P. J. Ras

    (Tshwane University of Technology, Center for Entrepreneurship, Private Bag X 680, Pretoria, South Africa 0001)

Registered author(s):

    Greening of product chains has come up as an important means to systematically improve the environmental performance of products from cradle to cradle in Europe and elsewhere. Some experience with inter-firm co-operation aiming at reducing the environmental impacts has been generated in recent years. Most of these experiences involve cooperation between some of the links in product chains, very often stopping at European borders. Problems of market communication, information availability and information costs prevent companies from going beyond these lines. Also, anonymous markets may prevent communication between producers and end-users in the West and supplying firms in developing countries. Only very few documented case studies of global greening of product chains are available. Therefore, the challenge here is how to establish interactions with the first links in supply chains. Within the context of South Africa it is of cardinal importance to identify these links to ensure sustainable synergy. European countries are constantly changing the standards of products in order to meet environmental targets. Moreover, European consumer markets are increasingly sensitive to environmentally sound products. From the perspective of South African suppliers there is an increasing need for interaction in their global product chains. In this conceptual analysis we will present the way that should be followed from both ends of the global product chains. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.270
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 245-256

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:14:y:2006:i:4:p:245-256
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719

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    1. Sharfman, Mark & Ellington, Rex T. & Meo, Mark, 1997. "The next step in becoming "green": Life-cycle oriented environmental management," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 13-22.
    2. Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
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