Supply Chain Localisation as a Social and Environmental Business Value: How Applicable Is This in Practical Terms?

Tochukwu Ben C. Onyido, David Boyd, Niraj Thurairajah

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This paper was written to explore the viability of supply chain localisation as a strategy for minimising possible adverse environmental and social impacts of large-scale economic activity surrounding the production of sustainable energy products. Supply chain localisation here refers to the situation of production activities close to the geographical areas in which the sustainable energy products would eventually be installed. Sustainable energy products refer to technologies and other goods and services that minimize negative environmental effects of energy use in buildings throughout their construction and habitation. The paper dwells on the operations of a major energy-efficiency programme based in the West Midlands, UK, which focused on preparing providers of sustainable energy products for the Green Deal—a UK-wide housing retrofit initiative—and the attendant increase in economic and industrial activities that the Green Deal is expected to generate. Participant observation and interviews were used to conduct a study of the programme. As part of measures to ensure that Green Deal-related activities yield minimal negative environmental and social effects while optimising economic benefits, programme participants recommended the localisation of the supply chain for the production, installation, and maintenance of sustainable energy products. The paper examines the programme outputs and focuses particularly on the concept of supply chain localisation. Based on the primary research conducted, as well as secondary research sources, the paper discusses the economic, social, and environmental benefits and detriments of the supply chain localisation
agenda. It also looks at the overall practicality of the implementation of supply chain localism within the context of mainstream business practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1144
Number of pages12
JournalChina Business Review
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2013


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