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Analysing the complexities of sustainable wood supply chain in the Amazon: a systems thinking approach

Arun A. Elias (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Flavia Donadelli (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Ely L. Paiva (Escola de Administração de Empresas de Sao Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Paulo Philipe Bacic Araujo (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 9 July 2021

Issue publication date: 15 October 2021

1527

Abstract

Purpose

The overall objective of this study is to holistically analyse the complexities involved in the adoption of sustainable wood supply chain in the Amazon and to develop strategic interventions to improve the system.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the systems thinking and modelling framework that included problem structuring followed by the development of a systems model. Tumbira and Santa Helena do Inglês, two Amazonian communities, were used as a case. Data were collected by staying inside the Amazon, observing the community members and interacting with them during their activities, including logging inside the forest.

Findings

A behaviour over time (BOT) graph developed as a part of problem structuring showed that deforestation of the Amazon is still increasing, despite the creation of protected areas and NGO activities in the region. Developing a sustainable wood supply chain is considered as one of the approaches for sustainable forestry in the Amazon, but its adoption is slow. The systems model captured the underlying structure of this system and explained this counterintuitive behaviour using eleven interacting feedback loops.

Research limitations/implications

This study is confined to two Amazonian communities and recognises the limitations of generalisations.

Practical implications

This paper illustrates the development of three strategic interventions to improve the adoption of sustainable wood supply chain in the Amazon.

Originality/value

This study highlights the real issues faced by real communities living in the Amazon for adopting sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices. It contributes to the literature on sustainable wood supply chain by systemically analysing the challenges in its adoption, not sufficiently discussed in the literature.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the Brazilian Agency CAPES for this research project.

Citation

Elias, A.A., Donadelli, F., Paiva, E.L. and Bacic Araujo, P.P. (2021), "Analysing the complexities of sustainable wood supply chain in the Amazon: a systems thinking approach", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 1481-1505. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-07-2020-0276

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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