Sustainable supply chain modeling and analysis: Past debate, present problems and future challenges

Pezhman Ghadimi , Chao Wang, Ming Lim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    149 Citations (Scopus)
    1902 Downloads (Pure)


    For the last two decades, the topic of sustainable supply chains has evoked considerable interest from academics and practitioners. Within this context, Resources, Conservation and Recycling (RCR) and its two predecessors (Resources and Conservation, and Conservation and Recycling) have provided a platform for the exchange of technological, economic, institutional and policy aspects to help societies transition toward sustainability. The current article analyses the published research works in the RCR literature within the context of sustainable supply chain modeling by employing a content analysis literature review technique. Using the body of available literature in RCR, the articles on sustainable supply chain are analyzed in terms of the following: (1) publication per year, (2) top-cited papers across time, (3) most productive and influential authors, institutions and countries (4) supply chain related topical themes, (5) research methodologies applied, (6) illustration types and (7) industries addressed. The analysis revealed that the call for incorporating sustainability (i.e., economic, social, and environmental pillars) into supply chain operations has increased in recent years in RCR publications. Finally, the comprehensive findings and interpretations are presented, as well as the primary current trends, future challenges, directions and opportunities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-84
    Number of pages13
    JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
    Early online date21 Sept 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

    Bibliographical note

    NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Resources, Conservation and Recycling. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling, [140], (2018)] DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.09.005

    © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.


    • Closed loop supply chain
    • Environmental sustainability
    • Green supply chain management
    • Literature review
    • Social responsibility
    • Sustainable supply chain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Economics and Econometrics


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