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Environmental upgrading in global value chains

In: Handbook on Global Value Chains


  • Valentina De Marchi
  • Eleonora Di Maria
  • Aarti Krishnan
  • Stefano Ponte
  • Stephanie Barrientos


Responding to stakeholder pressure, firms are increasingly challenged to reduce their environmental impacts. This chapter reviews the potential upgrading trajectories for firms engaged in global value chains (GVCs) to effectively reduce the impacts on the environment of all activities linked to their products - not just those that are carried out in house - and the major drivers of these investments. We also examine the role of global lead firms in fostering the greening of GVCs and the different governing approaches that they have adopted. Furthermore, we look at different forms of supplier agency in these processes, both in the Global North and the Global South. Finally, we identify the key challenges related to the reduction of environmental impacts along GVCs and discuss limits and opportunities for the joint achievement of economic and environmental outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Valentina De Marchi & Eleonora Di Maria & Aarti Krishnan & Stefano Ponte & Stephanie Barrientos, 2019. "Environmental upgrading in global value chains," Chapters, in: Stefano Ponte & Gary Gereffi & Gale Raj-Reichert (ed.), Handbook on Global Value Chains, chapter 19, pages 310-323, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:eechap:18029_19

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    Cited by:

    1. Joerg S. Hofstetter & Valentina Marchi & Joseph Sarkis & Kannan Govindan & Robert Klassen & Aldo R. Ometto & Katharina S. Spraul & Nancy Bocken & Weslynne S. Ashton & Sanjay Sharma & Melanie Jaeger-Er, 2021. "From Sustainable Global Value Chains to Circular Economy—Different Silos, Different Perspectives, but Many Opportunities to Build Bridges," Circular Economy and Sustainability,, Springer.
    2. Jensen, Federico & Whitfield, Lindsay, 2022. "Leveraging participation in apparel global supply chains through green industrialization strategies: Implications for low-income countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 194(C).
    3. Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti & Ari Van Assche, 2021. "Making sense of global value chain-oriented policies: The trifecta of tasks, linkages, and firms," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(3), pages 327-346, September.


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