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Systematic Review: Sustainable Global Supply Chains

NBS outlines a framework and best practices for supply chain management based on 25 years worth of academic and industry resources.

Baseline and best practices help firms manage risk and identify opportunity in the global economy.

NBS reviewed 25 years of reputable research across nearly 200 applied and academic studies to answer the question, “How can firms manage their global supply chains to manage risk and take advantage of opportunities?”

Managing Sustainable Global Supply Chains: A Systematic Review synthesizes the entire body of research on sustainable supply chains including reputable, peer-reviewed literature from both academia and practice. Inspired by ideas from the NBS Leadership Council, the review addresses the questions: How have supply chain risks and opportunities changed as a result of globalization? What does this mean for firms? And, how can firms navigate in this new complexity?

Models for Baseline Practices and Best Practices

The report develops a three step framework for managing competitive and sustainable global supply chains. It includes ‘baseline practices’ and ‘best practices’ models that underscore how firms of different sizes and stages in their sustainable supply chain journeys are taking steps to improve their impacts.

These frameworks identify how companies can move from a command-and-control, risk-motivated orientation by which suppliers are heavily screen, audited, and certified (or rejected), to an opportunities-motivated one in which companies focus on long-term relationships with high-fit partners – a focus that requires dialogue, consultation, and learning.

What’s Included in the Report

The systematic review includes a mix of academic and practitioner literature on the supply chain sustainability, outlines how the research breaks down by industry and issue, and the identifies the most prevalent issues studied to date.

Who Should Read the Report

Primarily designed for researchers and academics, this report is also relevant to operational managers and executives looking to develop/improve supply chain sustainability.

Additional Resources


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  • NBS

    The Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) is a non-profit advancing sustainable development to build a fairer and more environmentally sound future. We aim to improve business practice by facilitating knowledge sharing across an international community of business leaders, scholars, students and policy makers. With these stakeholders, we co-create high-quality content that enables practical action. Our content focuses on 6 critical sustainability themes, from climate change to social justice.

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