Keywords: supply chain networks, closed-loop chains, integration, economic measures, ecological goals, ecology, SCM, supply chain management, logistics, conflicts, company performance, competitive enhancement, automobile industry, automotive supply chains, sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable economy
Sustainability through the implementation of sustainable supply chain networks
Sustainability and sustainable development became two of the most popular expressions of our time in politics, science and business. However, a movement towards sustainability is only possible if companies develop concepts in production and logistics integrating both economic and ecological goals and measures. Managing sustainability seems to be more effective on a supply chain network level than on a company one. The paper illustrates the state-of-the-art of the discussion about managing sustainability. Furthermore, recommendations for sustainable development in industrial systems are made. Additionally, we outline the concept of sustainable supply chain networks as a tool for dissolving economic and ecological goal conflicts. This benefits sustainability and leads in the long run to an improvement of the economic and ecological performance and the enhancement of the competitive position for all participants. An example from the automotive industry illustrates the practical relevance.