Supply Chain Management for Sustainability

  • Masaru Nakano


Supply chain management for sustainability, or providing a sustainable supply chain, has become increasingly important with the growing awareness on global warming and energy security. This chapter discusses management issues such as sustainable supply chains, sustainable enterprises, and sustainable manufacturing.

Viewing the subject from the perspective of manufacturing enterprises, the conventional studies related to this area can be classified into two categories: environmental issues and risk management. A supply chain that addresses environmental issues is often called a green supply chain, and it incorporates energy efficiency and reverse supply chain reducing waste and health problem caused by hazardous substances. These issues are widespread and important for a sustainable society in terms of global warming, energy security, and pollution. A key approach is systems thinking – visualizing problems, defining boundaries, setting goals, and simulating policies to predict their effects. A methodology to tackle these issues should involve all stakeholders in the supply chain, i.e., consumers and governments, as well as the product lifecycle, which includes mining, refining, power generation, processing, assembly, logistics, sales, maintenance, and recycling. Even if one sector reduces the environmental load, the activities might significantly increase the environmental load in other sectors. Other management aspects are the time, where policy and technological developments work in the reverse direction from specific goals within a time frame, and space, which is increasingly global.

Risk management for disruptive events in supply chains requires a methodology of monitoring and resilience to mitigate disruptions such as natural disasters and financial crises. Globalization forces globally distributed enterprises to act more quickly when a disruptive event occurs. A systematic approach, such as visualizing risks and defining metrics, is still important for preventing and mitigating risks. Management must understand that disruptive events create not only hindrances, but also opportunities to win business from competitors.

Japan is well known for its energy-efficient and environmentally sound technology. This chapter also presents the history of Japan, which witnessed events from people suffering from health problems due to pollution of water, soil, and air, to the development of energy-efficient technology to deal with oil crises twice in the 1970s. The introduction explains why the enterprises and people of Japan are well aware of environmental issues.

A few examples from the automotive industry illustrate the specific challenges of managing supply chains. The examples include the substitution of materials in cars in terms of lifecycle assessment and a predicted shortage of copper for clean energy vehicles. The smart grid system is an example of a large system that requires system and lifecycle approaches.

Finally, other challenges are discussed for future research. There are three levels for analyzing environmental issues: macro, mezzo, and micro approaches. The mezzo level approach is the most appropriate for supply chains and is expected to be studied by more researchers. A socio-technical approach that includes both policy and technology roadmaps appears to be a promising approach.


Corporate Social Responsibility Supply Chain Corporate Social Responsibility Report Sustainable Society Product Lifecycle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Brundtland, Work commission on environment and development: our common future, Brundtland Report, Oxford, 1987Google Scholar
  2. K. Forsberg, H. Mooz, H. Cotterman, Visualizing Project Management: Models and Frameworks for Mastering Complex Systems (Wiley, Hoboken, 2005), pp. 1–480Google Scholar
  3. German Parliament, Closing report of the Enquete-Kommission, 13/11200, Berlin, 1998Google Scholar
  4. C. Haskins, K. Forsberg, M. Kruger (eds.), System Engineering Handbook – A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities, version 3.1 (International Council on System Engineering (INCOSE), Toronto, 2007)Google Scholar
  5. W.L. Ijomah, C.A. McMahon, G.P. Hammond, S.T. Newman, Development of design for remanufacturing guidelines to support sustainable manufacturing. Robot. Comput. Integr. Manuf. 23, 712–719 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. IMS 2020 homepage, (2010), Accessed in May 2010
  7. Japanese Business Alliance for Smart Energy Worldwide, Japanese state-of-the-art smart energy products & technologies 2008–2009 (2009),
  8. Japan Energy Conservation Center, Japan energy conservation handbook 2005/2006 (2006),
  9. F. Jovane, H. Yoshikawa, L. Alting, C.R. Boer, E. Westkamper, D. Williams, M. Tseng, G. Seliger, A.M. Paci, The incoming global technical and industrial revolution towards competitive sustainable manufacturing. CIRP Ann. Manuf. Technol. 57, 641–659 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. F. Kubota, S. Sato, M. Nakano, Enterprise modeling and simulation integrating manufacturing system design and supply chain, in IEEE International Conference on System, Man, and Cybernetics (1999) pp. 511–515Google Scholar
  11. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Technology strategic map 2008, (2008) 2008 (Japanese)
  12. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Technology strategic map 2009, (2009) 2009 (Japanese)
  13. M. Nakano, A conceptual framework for sustainable manufacturing by focusing on risks in supply chains, in Proceedings of APMS 2009 Conference, the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) WG5.7 (2009a), p. 8Google Scholar
  14. M. Nakano, Future of sustainable manufacturing in Japan, The XIV summer school ‘Francesco Turco’, impianti industriali meccanici, sustainable development: the role of industrial engineering (2009b), p. 10Google Scholar
  15. M. Nakano, F. Kubota, S. Sato, C. Roser, M. Araki, Holistic Methodology for Business Process Reengineering, in The 1st Conference on Changeable, Agile Reconfigurable and Virtual Production (CARV) (2005a), pp. 441–445Google Scholar
  16. M. Nakano, F. Kubota, S. Sato, C. Roser, Method and Tool to Visualize and Analyze Business Processes. Advances in production Management Systems: Modeling and Implementing the Integrated Enterprise, The International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) WG5.7 (2005b)Google Scholar
  17. NEDO committee report, Life cycle assessment of aluminum for automotive material (2005), (Japanese)
  18. T. Nonaka, M. Nakano, The carbon taxation by using LCA including the manufacturing phase for clean energy vehicles. M4SM workshop in the frame of EUROMAINTENANCE2010 conference, Verona, 2010Google Scholar
  19. C.A. Rusinko, Green manufacturing: an evaluation of environmentally sustainable manufacturing practices and their impact on competitive outcomes. IEEE Trans. Eng. Manag. 54(3), 445–454 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. S. Seuring, M. Muller, From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management. J. Clean. Prod. 16, 1699–1710 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Y. Sheffi, The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage (MIT Press, Cambridge/London, 2005), pp. 1–352Google Scholar
  22. S.K. Srivastava, Green supply-chain management: a state-of-the-art literature review. Int. J. Manage. Rev. 9(1), 53–80 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. J.W. Sutherland, J.L. Rivera, K.L. Brown, M. Law, M.J. Hutchins, K.R. Haapala, Challenges for the manufacturing enterprise to achieve sustainable development, in The 41th CIRP Conference on Manufacturing Systems (2008), pp. 15–18Google Scholar
  24. The Japan Machinery Federation (JMF), and Manufacturing Science and Technology Center (MSTC), Research report on R&D issues for technology strategic map 2008, May (Japanese) (2009), pp. 1–334Google Scholar
  25. Y. Umeda (ed.), Special issue on design and manufacturing toward sustainability. Int. J. Autom. Technol. (IJAT) 3(1), (2009)Google Scholar
  26. E. Westkämper, L. Alting, G. Arndt, Life cycle management and assessment: approaches and visions towards sustainable manufacturing. Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. 215(Part B), 599–626 (2001)Google Scholar
  27. World Economic Forum, Global risks 2008, 2009, 2010, a global risk network report, 2008, 2009, 2010Google Scholar
  28. Yuichi Okazaki (ed.), Special issue on microfactory. Int. J. Autom. Technol. (IJAT) 4(2) (2010), Fuji PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaru Nakano
    • 1
  1. 1.The Graduate School of System Design and ManagementKeio UniversityYokohamaJapan

Personalised recommendations