مدیریت و عملکرد لجستیک سبز : برخی از شواهد تجربی از صادر کنندگان تولید چینی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1440||2012||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Omega, Volume 40, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 267–282
The value chain of many business enterprises is increasingly required to demonstrate the profitability of their primary activities, starting from inbound logistics to operations, outbound logistics, marketing sales, and finally to services. The adoption of green logistics management (GLM) presents an opportunity for Chinese manufacturing exporters to competently respond to the escalating expectation of the international community for resources conservation and to achieve environmental performance profitably. This study makes several important contributions to the literature on managing logistics with environmental considerations. First, the authors identify the components of GLM: (i) procedure-based practices, (ii) evaluation-based practices, (iii) partner-based practices, and (iv) general environmental management practices. Second, they relate GLM to environmental and operational performance in a developing country context. Third, they identify the institutional and operational antecedents that prompt the adoption of GLM by export-oriented manufacturing enterprises in China. Fourth, they examine the moderating effect of environmental regulatory pressure on the GLM-performance linkage. The results are based on a survey of manufacturing exporters in China. The commonly held view that economic motivation is related to the adoption of GLM is not supported. However, GLM positively affects both environmental and operational performance, and regulatory pressure enhances the GLM-performance relationship.
Business enterprises in newly industrialized countries such as the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are increasingly expected to comply with environmental standards such as the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), the End of Life Vehicle (ELV) Directive, and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) if their merchandises are to reach international markets successfully. Such environmental-based trade barriers have also aroused the awareness of customers, firms, and government bodies for protecting the environment. Meanwhile, there are growing international concerns on the environmental damages associated with the accelerated industrial activities in the BRICs and China in particular  and . As global suppliers of manufactured products, manufacturing enterprises in China need to seek sustainable solutions such as green logistics management (GLM) in pursuit of profitable growth without inflicting environmental damages to other countries through managing the logistics cycle of their merchandises, i.e., spanning sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, and disposal . Such a solution should be able to improve business performance, while preserving the local, as well as the global environment. Nowadays, the majority of products consumed in developed countries have their resource materials or part of their manufacturing processes served by developing countries. The globalization of production highlights the importance of GLM on prevention of environmental harm arising from product manufacturing and distribution activities. Serving as the world's factory, Chinese manufacturing exporters are encountering international pressure to conserve resources and reduce their environmental consequences . The circular economy law in China, which promotes conservation of resources, reflects organizational responsibility towards achieving this goal . According to the China's National Development and Reform Commission, a circular economy is a scientific development model, where resources become products and the products are designed in such a way that they can be fully recycled for sustainable development of a country with a focus on balancing economic development and environmental protection. Resource depletion and an increasingly detrimental environmental burden caused by organizational production operations have led the Chinese government to impose stricter regulatory policy. This law took effect on 1 January 2009 and China is one of the pioneer emerging countries implementing circular economy-oriented legislation to redress the environmental harms arising from the rapid growth of its industrial activities in recent decades. The circular economy initiative of China has major strategic importance for Chinese enterprises, particularly those in the manufacturing sector which are considered a major polluting source to the environment. Thus, profitable growth, increasing environmental awareness, and stringent regulatory policies all suggest that Chinese manufacturing exporters need a management approach to tackle these challenges. Managing the logistics cycle of products in an environment-friendly manner and the different facets of these environmental management practices are increasingly embraced as a source of lasting competitive advantage by many Chinese manufacturers . As China aspires to develop a circular economy to promote continuous economic development without generating significant environmental and resource challenges, GLM is congruent with this goal featuring a focus on the three Rs (i.e., recycling, reuse, and reduce) to improve internal procedures and external conformances in managing product movements. To reach this circular economy objective, the important role of logistics management should not be neglected. Considerable opportunities exist along the logistics chain to reduce a firm's environmental impact; for example, substituting chemicals that might reduce the generation and handling of hazardous waste or by reducing the packaging waste that must be managed and disposed. GLM is novel and unique relative to concepts such as reverse logistics and closed-looped supply chain, which are confined to an emphasis on mitigating the environmental damages through managing the forward and reverse physical movements of goods among trading partners. Reverse logistics focuses on planning, implementing, and controlling efficient flows of materials, in-process inventory, finished goods from the point of consumption to production for the purpose of recapturing value or conducting proper disposal . Similarly, closed-loop supply chain consists of a forward as well as reverse supply chain, such that the loops of product flow is closed by reusing the product as itself, its components, or its materials . Although these concepts are helpful for environmental protection by reducing the disposal to landfill with focus on processes in handling end-of-life or returned products, e.g., by recycling and remanufacturing, they neglect the management practices that are useful for mitigating the environmental damages caused by products throughout their life-cycle. In comparison, GLM is a management approach that considers product return and recycling, environmental management systems, and eco-efficiency as viable ways to comply with environment-based regulations in international trade  and . While environmental impacts occur at all stages of a product's life cycle , GLM can contribute to integrate these factors in organizational logistics operations particularly on meeting market expectations, managing environmental risks, complying with regulations, and improving business efficiency. In particular, product distribution requires partner participation and performance monitoring if the recovery of products and materials in an environmentally sound manner can succeed. GLM reflects organizational ability to conserve resources, reduce waste, improve operational efficiency, and satisfy the social expectation for environmental protection. Other than internal activities such as product development and manufacturing processes, managing physical product flows is considered essential for environmental protection from the logistics and international business perspectives  and . While there are studies linking logistics elements including procurement, distribution, packaging, reserve logistics, to environmental preservation  and , the literature is void of a theoretical construct that captures the key elements of GLM. Thus, this study fills this research gap by developing GLM as a composite construct reflecting an organization's strive to balance economic growth and environmental protection in logistics management as well as the structure (i.e., the procedures), relevant processes (i.e., the evaluation), and strategy (i.e., partner and management focus) that supplement this goal. Thus, at the core of GLM is the belief that firms can improve both environmental and operational performance by managing the logistics cycle of their products. We examine two performance measures for evaluating the outcomes of GLM: (1) environmental performance, which is related to reduction in emission, waste, and pollution incurred from logistics activities, and (2) operational performance, which is concerned with improvement in product development and delivery. Based on the theory of structuration, we investigate the antecedent economic and institutional factors pressurizing the adoption of GLM by Chinese manufacturing exporters. Finally, we evaluate the effect of regulatory pressure moderating the links between the antecedent factors and performance outcomes. We develop new measurement items and adapt existing scales for evaluating GLM in manufacturing as well as the antecedent and outcome factors experienced by Chinese manufacturing exporters. The survey-based data were analyzed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), structural equation modeling, and multi-group analysis for moderating effect. Our empirical results establish that GLM can be embraced as a manufacturing resource to make the logistics cycle less wasteful and regulation plays a role to strengthen the implementation of GLM due to customer pressures as well as the performance outcomes in both economic and operational aspects.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
There has been growing evidence of organizational willingness to achieve improvements in the efficiency with which resources are used, reduce specific environmental impacts of production activities, and bring about environmental improvements. China's integration into the world's economy began three decades ago after its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). This economic integration made China, particularly for those of the manufacturing exporters, depends more upon the international trade. Yet, China has evolved as an international manufacturing powerhouse serving the global production demands. The commensurate emissions that are produced during the manufacturing processes have triggered substantial environmental burdens and resource scarcity within China. These developments highlight important implications for Chinese manufacturers who are considered as the major polluters and resources consumers. Increasingly, there are international and domestic pressures urging Chinese manufacturers to tackle the environmental issues caused by their growing industrial activities. As a part of the world factory, Chinese manufacturing exporters can contribute by producing, distributing, and packaging merchandises with more environment-friendly alternatives, increasing the efficiency of materials use through waste minimization and recycling, and changing the composition of output by using materials that are less harmful to the environment. Investigation of the antecedents and consequences of adopting GLM will be helpful for Chinese manufacturing exporters to understand the importance of green logistics and overcome the trade barriers given the rising international concerns relating to the development and distribution of products in world trade. The literature has increasingly focused on the ability of firms to ease environmental problems by making resources less wasteful and thus more sustainable, while retaining the basic system of capitalist production and consumption. GLM can be seen by manufacturing enterprises not as a ‘problem’, but more as an ‘opportunity’. Due to rising costs of materials and resources scarcity such as rare metals, it can be a profitable source for manufacturers to recycle expensive materials from used products such as mobile phones and consumer electronics. The importance of investment recovery for Chinese manufacturers through better utilization of scrap and used materials has also been emphasized in the literature . Yet, understanding of how effectively manufacturers can reduce environmental impact in product distribution throughout the product life cycle to meet this goal lags far behind. The limited empirical evidence on the links between GLM and performance provides little clue on the motivations for adopting GLM, and specifically how manufacturers can leverage GLM as a part of their environmental strategy to improve performance. Environmental management and sustainable logistics is an emerging research area tackling such issues as pollution and waste reduction in manufacturing processes. Our study is one of the first attempts to fill this void by identifying and specifying the management practices that are attributable to GLM. Based on our interviews and survey data, we have developed and empirically validated the GLM construct characterized with four attributes, namely procedure-based, evaluation-based, partner-based, and general environmental management practices. These attributes of GLM suggest the importance of developing formal procedure and assessment on the effort of GLM practices that enables continuous improvement, while communicating with stakeholders on its performance impact. The four attributes of GLM that we offer are unidimensional and actionable measures that can indicate where a manufacturer is headed in its efforts to manage logistics in an environment-friendly manner. Understanding the four attributes of GLM are essential for managers to develop procedures, perform evaluation, involve partners, and adopt general environmental practices integrating the environmental concerns of the physical flows (from production, distribution, to disposal) throughout the life-cycle of products in support of both environmental and productivity improvements as envisaged in a circular economy. Prior work has shown that environmental management in the supply chain does matter for performance . Our empirical results substantiate this argument and find that regulatory pressure moderates the performance link. Specifically, GLM is positively associated with environmental performance in reducing carbon emission, waste water, solid waste, and consumption of hazardous materials. It also contributes to various operational performance aspects covering product quality, shortened lead time, and reduced waste in production, allowing manufacturing enterprises a better cost position to compete in the international market. The environmental and operational benefits of GLM are highlighted with manufacturers implementing GLM more intensively to experience productivity and reduced pollution in a greater extent. Our study findings indicate customer pressures for environmental protection are positively related to the implementation of GLM by Chinese manufacturing exporters. This result is consistent with our theorization and echo the view that firms in emerging countries pursue GLM in response to customer requirements such as obtaining ISO 14000 certification  and retrieving reusable products from the market with a view to keep customers for continued businesses . Government and other public pressures, growth in environmentally savvy customers, and enhanced export and sale to foreign customers after the entry of China into the WTO have collectively led to an increasing number of Chinese manufacturing exporters to begin implementing environmental management practices such as GLM. In line with the structuration theory, these social conditions can influence and shape the international logistics operations of Chinese manufacturing exporters. With relative scarcity of resources and the potential pressure of “green barriers” in international trade, both the Chinese government and manufacturing enterprises have had increasing reasons to initiate and take corporate and industrial environmental management measures. Recently, China has surpassed Japan as the second world's largest economic entity due largely to continuous internationalization of Chinese-made products but this achievement also creates environmental concerns. In response, the Chinese government has implemented the circular economy law since 2009 so as to alleviate the contradiction between rapid industrialization and shortages of resources, where GLM can be an answer for achieving this goal. Other than domestic regulations, there are pressures attributable to international forces stemming from foreign governments, non-government bodies, consumers, and multi-national corporation . For example, extended producer responsibility has been adopted in the European Union legislation for the reduction of the amount of packaging waste, end-of-life vehicles, and electrical and electronic wastes . This trend for increased environmental responsibility to upstream manufacturers will accelerate because a growing number of governments including China have incorporated extended producer responsibility into their environmental policy. However, economic pressures for environmental protection as reflected by increasing cost of disposal, potential savings from materials, and subsidies from government, are found to have no association with implementing GLM by Chinese manufacturing exporters. In the case of recycling mobile phone in China, it recovers only materials, where no component, assembly or packaging energy is recovered at the end of product life . Even though rare metals such as palladium and tantalum can be extracted from waste electronic appliances, efficient collection is a significant hurdle to undertake recycling rendering weak economic grounds for manufacturers to embark on GLM. Another plausible reason is the lack of growth capacity through cost reduction as they already command the status of low-cost producers. The legitimacy to conform to the appeal of the international markets on environmental protection seems to be a more salient incentive for Chinese manufacturing exporters to pursue GLM. This is in line with the ex ante managerial belief of “it pays to be green,” explaining the unattended economic opportunities of green practices . When Chinese manufacturing exporters are confronted with environmental regulatory pressures at a high level, the positive effects of GLM on environmental and operational performance are enhanced. These differential strengths of performance outcomes suggest that environmental regulations appear to be useful as a guideline to direct the GLM efforts of manufacturers to improve performance. Similar moderating effect of environmental regulatory pressure is also found on the relationship between customer pressure and GLM. As regulatory pressure is a contextual condition governing organizational actions, environmental regulations reinforce customer pressure to accelerate the implementation of GLM by Chinese manufacturing exporters. New insights are obtained in that environmental regulations are valuable for enhancing the institutional legitimacy on the implementation of GLM by Chinese manufacturing exporters and strengthening their performance outcomes. Nevertheless, the moderating effect of environmental regulatory pressures is found insignificant on the relationship between economic pressure and GLM, suggesting that environmental regulations are less effective to bolster the economic incentives for Chinese manufacturing exporters to pursue GLM. As a major manufacturing country, GLM has become more critical for Chinese manufacturing exporters, which enjoy many international business opportunities but also encounter substantial environmental burdens with this opportunity. The appropriate development of the GLM concept and practices may indeed aid Chinese manufacturing exporters by lessening the environmental burden of development, distribution, and disposal of products, while even potentially improving their efficiency and economic positioning. The GLM construct encompasses a series of managerial actions on environmental-based logistics management with its four attributes to supplement these actions, which can be developed into an inimitable bundle of resources for superior performance. Thus, GLM as we conceptualize it can be viewed as a composite of the underlying belief, environmental-based logistics management, and the concurrent capabilities that a manufacturer develops. One example to illustrate is Yidian, Inc. that believes in preserving energy and resource consumption through GLM. It is an aluminum plate Chinese manufacturing exporters in Luoyang, Henan Province. For managing its growing international sales network (spanning from USA, Russia, Germany, to South Africa) and stringent environmental regulations in overseas countries, Yidian considers it strategically important to develop and adopt environmentally responsible management practices. In reengineering its workflows, Yidian has relocated the aluminum molding production line close to its electrolysis factory, eliminated steps of transporting the aluminum solution from the factory to the production line. Subsequent to this elimination of inbound logistics process, the production cost per kilogram of each aluminum plate is lowered from RMB 410 to RMB 148, saving RMB 80 million per year and reducing the annual emission of sulfur dioxide (a greenhouse gas that causes acid rain) by 60%. The study results have implications for manufacturing enterprises to improve their GLM and hence performance. Like all strategic international logistics operations, manufacturers need to balance the costs of investment in the implementation of green practices that may be offset by commensurate benefits in terms of improved productivity and environmental performance. In view of the growing customer expectations for environmental protection, our results suggest that manufacturers can meet such pressure by implementing GLM which is conducive to environmental and operational performance improvement. Although the economic benefits of GLM implementation (e.g., disposal cost increase and reduction of material cost) may not be realized as an opportunity, manufacturers can benefit from such implementation by catering to the customer expectation through retrieving reusable products and participating in customers' product return program. Our study also highlights that the importance for manufacturers to comply with environmental-based regulations to excel. While implementing GLM can improve manufacturers' environmental and operational performance, such improvements are more apparent when they comply with both the local and international environmental regulations. Thus, manufacturers adopting the four attributes of GLM should take account of the regulations related to their products as well as international logistics operations to strengthen their performance outcomes. By using our measurement scale, manufacturers may assess and identify the areas of their GLM for improvement actions. Those who are new to adopting GLM can also make use of the scale in structuring their assessment, reporting, and monitoring mechanisms of green logistics activities.