An integrative approach to assess environmental and economic sustainability in multi-tier supply chains

Andrea Tuni, Athanasios Rentizelas, Damiana Chinese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Multi-tier supply chain sustainability is paramount to achieve corporate sustainability, due to the significant impacts from organisations beyond the focal firm boundaries and its direct suppliers. However, including environmental considerations within the dominant profit-centric logic of supply chain related decisions is prone to generate sustainability tensions.

This work aims to support organisations address tensions between sustainability dimensions by adopting an integrative approach for sustainable supply chain management performance assessment thanks to an innovative eco-intensity based performance assessment method, which achieves a balanced consideration of environmental and economic performance in a weak sustainability perspective. The method, using primary data sourced from actual practice and featuring an indirect multi-tier approach with decentralised responsibilities across organisations, is applied to a case study of a machinery supply chain.

The proposed integrative approach can support addressing sustainability tensions in the area of sustainable supply chain management, facilitate sustainable supplier evaluation and identify supply chain hotspots for operational improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-882
Number of pages22
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number11-12
Early online date9 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020


  • sustainability performance assessment
  • multi-tier supply chain
  • eco-intensity
  • integrative approach
  • tensions


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