The purpose of this paper is to categorise the research on environmental sustainability in logistics and transportation on the basis of the main themes and study methods and proposes directions for future research.
The review is based on 72 papers published from 1994 to 2011 in international peer-reviewed journals. The academic papers were analysed and categorised according to both their defining characteristics (i.e. year of publication, journal title, regions addressed, and research methodology adopted) and the themes tackled. Five key themes were examined: sustainability initiatives, reasons for adoption, benefits achieved following adoption, critical issues and barriers to adoption, and the evaluation and measurement of environmental initiatives.
While many studies have addressed the issue of environmental sustainability within the supply chain as a whole, papers focusing specifically on environmental sustainability within logistics and freight transportation are fewer and relatively more recent. Although researchers have started to examine the decision-making process involved in environmental sustainability adoption in recent years, many themes, such as sustainability evaluation and measurement, and the level of adoption of sustainability initiatives in the context of the third-party logistics (3PL) industry are under-represented in the literature. As far as the methodology is concerned, our review revealed that many articles are either conceptual papers or empirical studies (i.e. mostly based on surveys or case studies), while simulation and analytical modelling have rarely been addressed.
While efforts were made to be all-inclusive, some research efforts may have inadvertently been omitted. However, the authors believe that this review provides an accurate representation of the body of research on environmental sustainability in logistics and transportation published during the specified timeframe, and that the resulting assessments are reliable.
The paper offers a guide to the previous research on this topic and identifies the most important issues that need to be addressed in future research.
Marchet, G., Melacini, M. and Perotti, S. (2014), "Environmental sustainability in logistics and freight transportation : A literature review and research agenda", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 775-811. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-06-2012-0065Download as .RIS
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