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Identifying improvement areas when implementing green initiatives using a multitier AHP approach

Roberto Sarmiento (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
Andrew Thomas (Newport Business School, University of Wales Newport, Cardiff, UK)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 1 June 2010



The purpose of this paper is to discuss research gaps and the potential applications of analytic hierarchy process (AHP) in an internal benchmarking process used to identify improvement areas when firms attempt to adopt green initiatives with a supply chain perspective.


By means of a detailed literature review, the paper distinguishes several gaps in previous studies that have investigated green supply chains, supply chain management and benchmarking issues.


Past research that analyses the challenges firms encounter when implementing green initiatives are lacking in scope and also in focus. Thus, the paper synthesises those findings, and proposes a novel framework and approach to apply AHP to examine various potential challenges firms and supply chains might be faced with when adopting green initiatives.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation is conceptual in nature.

Practical implications

Despite the limitations of the paper, its findings and proposals can be applied directly to advise future research and practice, especially when firms are confronted with the prospects of implementing environmentally‐friendly business practices.


The application of AHP to study the various themes mentioned above is not new. Nevertheless, no previous investigation has identified the limitations in those studies. Furthermore, no previous paper has proposed a multitier AHP approach to analyse the problems firms taking part in a supply chain might encounter when implementing green initiatives.



Sarmiento, R. and Thomas, A. (2010), "Identifying improvement areas when implementing green initiatives using a multitier AHP approach", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 452-463.



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