Sustainable supply chain management and partner engagement to manage climate change information

Frederik Dahlmann, Jens Roehrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Climate change poses significant new risks and challenges for businesses and their supply chains. Additionally, in many sectors, Scope 3 indirect greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the sourcing and distribution of goods and services are larger than firms' own carbon footprints. Here we study how firms engage their key stakeholders in their supply chains in obtaining, processing, and transferring relevant climate change‐related information designed to overcome information asymmetry and drive sustainable development. Grounded in organisational information‐processing theory (OIPT), we draw on data from the Carbon Disclosure Project's Climate Change Supply Chain initiative for a qualitative content analysis of a large sample of global firms. Consistent with OIPT, we find that although firms primarily engage their supply chain partners in a variety of ways to reduce information uncertainty around indirect emissions data, effectively interpreting and managing broader sustainability information equivocality becomes a growing priority. Our findings further suggest that firms engage suppliers, customers, and other supply chain partners through basic, transactional, and collaborative types of engagement. We contribute to literatures on interorganisational information processing and sustainable supply chain management by providing a more detailed understanding of how firms engage supply chain partners in the context of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Early online date18 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Carbon Disclosure Project
  • climate change
  • information asymmetry
  • organisational information-processing theory
  • stakeholder engagement
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Cite this

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abstract = "Climate change poses significant new risks and challenges for businesses and their supply chains. Additionally, in many sectors, Scope 3 indirect greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the sourcing and distribution of goods and services are larger than firms' own carbon footprints. Here we study how firms engage their key stakeholders in their supply chains in obtaining, processing, and transferring relevant climate change‐related information designed to overcome information asymmetry and drive sustainable development. Grounded in organisational information‐processing theory (OIPT), we draw on data from the Carbon Disclosure Project's Climate Change Supply Chain initiative for a qualitative content analysis of a large sample of global firms. Consistent with OIPT, we find that although firms primarily engage their supply chain partners in a variety of ways to reduce information uncertainty around indirect emissions data, effectively interpreting and managing broader sustainability information equivocality becomes a growing priority. Our findings further suggest that firms engage suppliers, customers, and other supply chain partners through basic, transactional, and collaborative types of engagement. We contribute to literatures on interorganisational information processing and sustainable supply chain management by providing a more detailed understanding of how firms engage supply chain partners in the context of climate change.",
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