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Germany and Brazil - Successful partnership also in supply chain research

Dienstag, 26. April 2016

Besides a strong commercial relationship, Germany and Brazil are proving to be successful partners in sustainable supply chain research. The economic and political leader in South America has been involved in some of our projects and since 2012 a full-time guest researcher and lecturer from Brazil has been conducting applied research in the sustainable supply chain context. 

Juliana Campos together with Prof. Dr-Ing. Frank Straube and Prof. Patricia Cardoso (UFES/Brazil) have been also presenting in international journals and conferences and their results regarding this important and present topic.  

From left to right: Prof. Patricia Cardoso (UFES/Brazil), Prof. Dr-Ing. Frank Straube and Juliana Campos

Their last article was presented on the "3rd International EurOMA Sustainable Operations and Supply Chains" in April in Lancaster, United Kingdom. The findings were based on the content analysis of 32 international companies, leaders in sustainability, and used the Framework for Managing Sustainable Supply Chain Practices as a background: 

  1. Transport and Logistics Services (T&LS) companies have a particular behavior towards sustainability, with lacks in fundamental practices related to governance and production, which also includes resources management. Besides few investments in equipment and vehicles, they showed to have more intentions than actions. One explanation can be the low margins and limited resources available to support the sustainable supply chain initiatives.

  2. Lack of supply chain integration among all companies. Since most of the distribution activities are outsourced in manufacturers, initiatives conducted together with partners are not reported. It is unclear whether they are not just not reported or also not implemented. Few efforts to involve suppliers in the product and packaging development. Although opportunities for reducing their impact on the environment and society might arise from collaborations, they seem to be still absent in all industries' realities.

  3. Patterns for each industry are detailed in the paper.

Overall conclusions are that leading manufacturers seem to have overcame the first challenge of organizing their corporate environment, each industry with its particular portfolio of practices. The current step is building long-term relationships with other companies, through industry associations and collaborative platforms. This step is essential for extending sustainability towards supply chain. T&LS firms, in contrast, are still in the preliminary phase, when internal culture and mind-set have to be transformed and value business sustainability appropriately. 

For more information about the partnership Germany-Brazil and about the researches we have been conducting, please contact Juliana K. Campos.

Some of the publications derived from this partnership

  • Campos, Juliana K.; Straube, Frank; Wutke, Sebastian; Cardoso, Patricia A.: Creating Value by Sustainable Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Practices – a Cross-Country Comparison. 14th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing. October 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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