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Sustainable procurement of minor items - exploring limits to sustainability


  • Hans Haake

    (Ecological Economics, University of Oldenburg, Germany)

  • Stefan Seuring

    (International Management, University of Kassel, Germany)


The field of sustainable supply chain management has seen a rapid expansion of corporate activities as well as academic research over the last few years. This paper points to an obvious shortcoming in the way the topic is being addressed in almost all contributions: major, well known, product related goods and services are almost exclusively targeted, leading to definitions, frameworks and empirical research that fail to include more minor items and related purchasing processes. This has various reasons, but is an inadequate approach when overall impacts along an entire supply chain are considered and the basic tenets of sustainability respected. The paper discusses the reasons for such shortcomings and suggests some measures by which they could be overcome, thereby also stimulating future research. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Haake & Stefan Seuring, 2009. "Sustainable procurement of minor items - exploring limits to sustainability," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 284-294.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:17:y:2009:i:5:p:284-294
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.424

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles J. Corbett & Gregory A. DeCroix, 2001. "Shared-Savings Contracts for Indirect Materials in Supply Chains: Channel Profits and Environmental Impacts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(7), pages 881-893, July.
    2. Walter J. V. Vermeulen & P. J. Ras, 2006. "The challenge of greening global product chains: meeting both ends," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 245-256.
    3. Morrow, David & Rondinelli, Dennis, 2002. "Adopting Corporate Environmental Management Systems:: Motivations and Results of ISO 14001 and EMAS Certification," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 159-171, April.
    4. Catherine Dolan & John Humphrey, 2004. "Changing governance patterns in the trade in fresh vegetables between Africa and the United Kingdom," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(3), pages 491-509, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gadenne, David & Sharma, Bishnu & Kerr, Don & Smith, Tim, 2011. "The influence of consumers' environmental beliefs and attitudes on energy saving behaviours," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7684-7694.
    2. Magnus Boström, 2015. "Between Monitoring and Trust: Commitment to Extended Upstream Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 239-255, September.
    3. Kogg, Beatrice & Mont, Oksana, 2012. "Environmental and social responsibility in supply chains: The practise of choice and inter-organisational management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 154-163.
    4. Enrico Massaroni & Alessandra Cozzolino & Mario Calabrese & Ewa Wankowicz & Maura Fiore, 2016. "Reporting di sostenibilità degli operatori logistici in Europa: analisi degli indicatori," ECONOMIA E DIRITTO DEL TERZIARIO, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(2), pages 303-334.
    5. Mari, Sonia Irshad & Lee, Young Hae & Memon, Muhammad Saad & Cho, Su Yeon, 2014. "A Three-level Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chain Network Design under Disruption," MPRA Paper 58228, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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