Establishing green supplier appraisement platform using grey concepts

Nitin Kumar Sahu (Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India)
Saurav Datta (Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India)
Siba Sankar Mahapatra (Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India)

Grey Systems: Theory and Application

ISSN: 2043-9377

Publication date: 26 October 2012



This paper aims to develop an efficient measurement index evaluation system towards assessing suppliers' green performance practices. Apart from estimating overall performance index, the paper also aims to highlight application of decision‐support tools for selection of appropriate candidate supplier in green supply chain management context.


In order to tackle incompleteness and imprecision arising from assigning appropriateness rating as well as priority weights against subjective performance criteria‐attributes, use of grey numbers was proposed. An efficient grey‐based supplier appraisement platform was established. Application of Grey‐Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) and COPRAS‐G method were reported to solve the supplier selection decision‐making problem. The theory of grey numbers was utilized here to facilitate such decision modeling.


Over the last two decades, growing concerns about ecosystem quality have stimulated to a renewed interest in environmentalism. Purchasing professionals should also be concerned and need to rethink purchasing strategies which have traditionally neglected environmental impacts. The “green” purchasing‐packaging in reducing and eliminating waste is a major concern in recent days. In order to help foster environmentally concerned purchasing strategies, this paper presents the findings of supplier evaluation strategy in an enterprise with enhanced degree of awareness and frequent applications of “green” purchasing. Environmental factors are identified that may reshape supplier evaluation decisions. The concept of grey numbers set has been adopted in this work. A case study reflects effectiveness of exploring grey relation theory in the context of green supplier evaluation.


The major contributions of this work have been summarized as follows: development and implementation of an efficient decision‐making tool to support green supplier evaluation; an overall green performance index evaluation platform has been introduced; concept of grey numbers has been efficiently explored to facilitate this decision‐making; the appraisement index system has been extended with the capability to search ill‐performing areas which require future progress; and the proposed appraisement system is capable of reducing the number of green attributes towards computing grey appropriateness index thereby transforming into lesser number of green capabilities, thus, facilitating applying decision‐making tools like grey‐TOPSIS and COPRAS‐grey method for appropriate supplier selection from a set of candidate suppliers.



Sahu, N., Datta, S. and Sankar Mahapatra, S. (2012), "Establishing green supplier appraisement platform using grey concepts", Grey Systems: Theory and Application, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 395-418.

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