Sustainable supply chain management: A brief literature review

Mohsen Varsei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to provide a brief review of the sustainable supply chain management literature. Supply chain management involves the extraction, production, transportation, and recycling of materials and products, which all have major impacts on the multiple dimensions of sustainable development—economic, environmental and social. Sustainable supply chain management has evolved in the literature to incorporate a combination of these dimensions. The paper starts by presenting an overview of supply chain management and sustainability. Then different dimensions of the area are discussed along with some research gaps which can offer new avenues for future research. While sustainable development requires the consideration of social, environmental and economic dimensions concurrently, the extant literature has predominantly dealt with one or two dimensions, namely the economic and environmental. Furthermore, sustainability has been misinterpreted as green or environmental practices by many scholars with the general oversight of the social dimension. This would result in an appeal for future research to address the social sustainability and investigate the interconnections among all three dimensions and the potential trade-offs or win-win-win scenarios. This research agenda could assist in reaching true sustainability as an inevitable necessity. Despite all valuable efforts, we still may not know much about the dynamics in various industries at the organizational, regional and global levels. The priorities in most cases are still unclear for practitioners and policy makers. Hence several opportunities exist for research in order to help create a more sustainable future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-419
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Developing Areas
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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