The relationship between downstream environmental logistics practices and performance

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Transportation and logistics practices conducted downstream in supply chains are often the greatest source of environmental emissions and degradation for companies. The implementation of environmental logistics practices provides a mechanism to tackle this challenge. The natural resource-based view (NRBV) highlights the potential for companies to generate sources of competitive advantage through tackling environmental concerns. It further suggests that engagement with key stakeholders may facilitate the implementation of environmental efforts at the supply chain level. Adopting this perspective, this study considers (i) whether downstream environmental logistics practices improve environmental and cost performance and; (ii) whether engagement with customers supports and enhances the relationship between downstream environmental logistics and performance. Using survey responses collected from 149 food manufacturing companies located within the UK, we find that adoption of downstream environmental logistics practices can generate environmental and cost performance benefits. We also find that the level of performance improvement deriving from these practices may be increased when companies engage with customers to tackle environmental concerns. Considered together, our results suggest that environmental logistics practices provide a mechanism for environmental and cost performance improvements and that these improvements may be enhanced further through engagement with appropriate stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-365
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Early online date14 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • : Environmental supply chain management
  • natural resource-based view
  • logistics
  • Food industry


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