In dirty chains? Purchasing and greener manufacturing

Lutz Preuss

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    149 Citations (Scopus)


    Against the backdrop of an increasing importance of the purchasing function in manufacturing companies, this paper introduces the notion of a "green multiplier effect" and suggests that purchasing could become an important agent for change regarding environmental initiatives in the supply chain. The literature offers some support for this concept. However, a study into purchasing in Scottish manufacturing companies produces a less optimistic picture, as environmental initiatives involving the supply chain are rare. Where they occur, they are mostly undertaken in a passive fashion, with the main motivation being compliance with legislation. Above-average environmental initiatives are reported from three industries: paper making, chemicals and electronics. Explanations of the discrepancy between anticipated and actual results point to the reactive nature of purchasing and to performance measurement systems that focus on economic criteria.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)345-359
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Business Ethics
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


    • Cleaner manufacturing
    • Environmental protection
    • Greener manufacturing
    • Industrial buying
    • Purchasing
    • Supply chain management


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