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Comparative carbon auditing of conventional and online retail supply chains: a review of methodological issues

Julia Edwards (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Alan McKinnon (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)
Sharon Cullinane (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot‐Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 25 January 2011

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the various stages in online and conventional retail supply chains in order to assess their relative environmental impacts. With reference to boundary issues, utilisation factors and carbon allocation, it seeks to highlight some of the difficulties in establishing a robust carbon auditing methodology.

Design/methodology/approach

Auditing issues are considered from the point of divergence in the respective supply chains (downstream of this point a product is destined either for conventional or online retailing channels, and will receive different treatment accordingly).

Findings

The paper explores methodological issues associated with carbon auditing conventional and online retail channels. Having highlighted the problems, it suggests resolutions to these issues.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is mostly conceptual in nature.

Practical implications

The approach outlined in this paper, once applied, allows the identification of inefficiencies in the respective retail supply chains.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to discuss carbon auditing in relation to upstream supply chain analysis for both conventional and online retail channels. Previous work has tended to focus on the last mile delivery.

Keywords

Citation

Edwards, J., McKinnon, A. and Cullinane, S. (2011), "Comparative carbon auditing of conventional and online retail supply chains: a review of methodological issues", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 57-63. https://doi.org/10.1108/13598541111103502

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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