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End of life aircrafts recovery and green supply chain (a conceptual framework for addressing opportunities and challenges)

Samira Keivanpour (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada)
Daoud Ait Kadi (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada)
Christian Mascle (Department of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 19 October 2015

1923

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the different aspects of end-of-life (EOL) aircraft problems and their effects on original manufacturer’s supply chain. Aircraft manufacturers, in the greener aviation context, need to care about the footprint of planes at the EOL. Considering the challenges in EOL aircraft recovery, the reverse logistics and green supply chain solutions in the other industrial sections cannot be applied in the aerospace industry. A conceptual framework with four elements, supply chain competency, governance policy, relationship in supply chain and aerospace industry context, provides a basis for assessing the opportunities and challenges of the green supply chain in this industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The basic research method utilized in this paper is the literature review. The literature review is a research methodology that includes examining books, journals, conference proceedings and dissertations for available information on the area of research. The research area regarding EOL aircraft is new. A substantial amount of literature exists in the field of end-of-life vehicle, but the main content of literature about the aircraft recycling can be obtained via relatively few literature, technical reports, news and industrial experts’ opinions. The literature is complete in some respects while inadequate in others. A considerable amount of information has been gathered through graduate student projects. The other information has been collected via contacts with professionals involved in an EOL aircraft recycling project. The basis for this methodological framework comes from a research process proposed by Mayring (2010) that emphasizes on four steps: material collection, descriptive analysis, category section and material evaluation.

Findings

This paper addresses the opportunities and challenges of applying a green supply chain for aircraft manufacturers and analyzes the different aspects of aircraft at the EOL in the context of green supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

This study enriches the literature by identifying EOL aircraft value chain analysis in the sustainable development context. It provides an introduction to a fresh research theme and sheds some light on green supply challenges in the aerospace industry.

Practical implications

The proposed conceptual framework in this paper helps practitioners to realize the opportunities and challenges of aircraft manufacturers in applying long-term strategies with respect to EOL aircrafts. The proposed framework helps manufacturers to evaluate different perspectives of the EOL aircraft problem. Moreover, the current contribution of aircraft manufacturers into EOL projects is not in a systematic structure and performed through several managerial and professional meetings. The proposed framework in this study is a valuable tool to evaluate the different opportunities and challenges in an organized way.

Originality/value

This work provides a valuable framework for future research related to green supply chains in the aerospace context. It also aids practitioners to realize the EOL aircraft problem in the context of the green supply chain, considering the opportunities and challenges.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge funding from Bombardier, BHTC, CRIAQ, Aluminerie Alouette, Sotrem-Maltech, BFI, NanoQuebec, MITACS and NSERC. The authors also appreciate reviewers’ comments on improving the quality of this paper.

Citation

Keivanpour, S., Ait Kadi, D. and Mascle, C. (2015), "End of life aircrafts recovery and green supply chain (a conceptual framework for addressing opportunities and challenges)", Management Research Review, Vol. 38 No. 10, pp. 1098-1124. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRR-11-2014-0267

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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