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OPEMAN-559; No of Pages 8

Journal of Operations Management xxx (2007) xxx–xxx www.elsevier.com/locate/jom

Sustainable supply chains: An introduction
Jonathan D. Linton a,*, Robert Klassen b, Vaidyanathan Jayaraman c a Paul Desmarais Professor in the Management of Technological Enterprises, School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont. K1N 6N5, Canada b Ivey School of Management, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada c Department of Management, School of Business, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Abstract Consideration is given to the convergence of supply chains and sustainability. In doing so, the focus on environmental management and operations is moved from local optimization
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Simultaneously, the concept of sustainability entered the popular culture, such as books – the Lorax (Geisel, 1971) – and films – Soylent Green (Fleischer, 1973). This migrated in the 1990s to the consideration of sustainability in the management literature and has quickly increased since then (Fig. 2). The transition from a set of the technical concepts into the political and business mainstream is commonly linked to the book Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report (WCED, 1987). Sustainability is generally defined as using resources to meet the needs

of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED, 1987; Daly and Cobb, 1994). Not surprisingly, given the vaguarities that surround this definition, hundreds of different interpretations have evolved to operationalize sustainability. As a result, this all encompassing definition of sustainability raised more questions than answers. These questions include:  What resources will future generations require?  At what levels can pollutants be released without having a negative effect on future generations?  To what extent will new sources of depletable resources be identified in the future?  At what level can renewable resources be exploited while ensuring that these
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