Towards a typology of sustainable chain management
Johan Piet, PhD CPA TranspaRAbility
1112 KL Diemen, The Netherlands
Improving societal added value is not restricted to the legal boundaries of an organisation. The influence can be extended to other partners of the supply chain.
 My experience is that environmental management and corporate social responsibility inside organisations had minimal success. On the other hand, fundamental improvements can be achieved by optimising the social benefits covering the whole chain.

 Chain management originally was directed to the “efficiency” of the final product. But this management instrument can also be directed towards non-financial goals. The aim of sustainability chain management is the “maximising of the societal added value”, covering a range of societal issues in the field of environment, economics and socio-ethical justice.

 In order to make an overview of the role of chain management in sustainability, a typology may give insight in the major issues and solutions. This typology can be developed on the basis of the following fundamentals:

  1. A chain is an analytical view of the complex practice of global (or national) production, which consists of networks and cycles.
  2. Issues should be classified by inherent applicability in organisations on one hand and perception in society on the other hand.
  3. Inherent applications can be distinguished in global issues, sector issues and company specific issues.
  4. Instruments for the solution of societal issues can be listed and applied to related inherent issues.

 The core classification is:

  • Influencing the suppliers part of the chain, such as social responsible purchasing
  • Improving the internal business activities, with investments in technology and systems
  • Influencing the vendors part of the chain, such as product design
 “External organisation” as a domain of expertise deals with concepts like: co operations, covenants, public-private projects, commodity boards, product stewardship, codes of conduct, labelling, certificates of origine and chain leaders.

 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies may now have a new chance.


All Submissions
7:00 AM-5:00 PM, Thursday, 28 April 2005, Oral

The Netherlands 2005 Meeting