Sustainable Supply Chain Management


Due to the current global climatic change, most organizations are considering the environmental impact they make along with their suppliers. The starting point of this consideration is seen when companies make ecological factors critical to their strategy. Initially, companies’ strategies concerning environmental awareness significantly influenced pressure from their located society (Costache, Dumitrascu and Maniu, 2021). Governments have reinforced society’s pressure to adopt green practices, leading to numerous companies considering the adaptation. However, organizations consider the cost of adopting green practices and needed resources as essential factors.

Sustainable green supply chain management (Gr SCM) is one environmental management aspect causing concerns. Due to this, Gr SCM is gaining increased interest from practitioners and researchers because of ecological deterioration, such as increased pollution levels and overflowing waste. Since there are requirements for adopting Gr SCM, it is crucial to identify the priorities of adaptation in terms of how they are implemented and their importance (Haramoto, Malla, Thakali, and Kitajima, 2020). Most literature on the green supply chain is focused on suppliers and management; it is advocated that consumers’ perceptions of a company’s green initiatives be investigated. This research proposal will focus on cosmetic companies and their products due to their current trend of natural products.


In the early days of beauty products and cosmetics, the producers relied heavily on natural products such as charcoal, berries, and bugs. However, innovations have happened since the early days leading to the shift from raw materials to processed packaged products. Due to this, cosmetic companies increasingly generate plastic packaging annually, leading to environmental hazards. Additionally, cosmetic companies have other environmental impacts such as energy consumption, carbon production, and water wastage (Saeed and Kersten, 2019). Currently, the beauty industry is reverting to using natural products with less environmental impact. Therefore, this new research is relevant because it focuses on the environmental impact of cosmetic companies as they strive to shift to green practices, as revealed in previous research.


The emphasis on using natural materials in cosmetics can be traced to a single piece of the supply chain known as purchasing raw materials and manufacturing them. When this single piece is converted into customer information, it does not imply that environmental management and improvement initiatives are implemented in the supply chain. Numerous procedures in the supply chain can be changed to ensure lower ecological impact. Some of the methods can be altered; waste management and in-and-outbound logistic. Due to the economic risk of implementing these changes, some companies cannot enforce environmental policies in their supply chain. Additionally, changes in the customer perceptions and behavior toward green procedures have not been fully explored, particularly those not directly related to product quality. Liu and Cheng (2018) advocate using consumers as a driving factor for evaluation, citing the research of ecological initiatives in which customers were identified as the primary drivers for implementing such initiatives.

Further, the ecological initiatives study can be classified as non-theoretical because propositions in sustainable supply chain management emphasize that relationship between business and customers is studied through hypotheses according to benchmarks (Tumpa et al., 2019). Although a study by Kumar, Mangla, Luthra, and Ishizaka (2019) focused on similar information transferred between retail customers and suppliers, a literature survey found no frameworks dealing with ecological initiatives. The study concentrated on information and opinions concerning the need for and use of environmental data, and consumers were the primary purchasers instead of individual users. Individual interviews were recommended as an excellent way to obtain data in the study.

The Purpose of the Study

The study aims to identify how customers feel about various green chain activities and how they can affect their purchasing habits. A constructivist-interpretive paradigm will be used in this research to ensure a qualitative study method is selected. Due to that, the following research objectives will be defined in the study.

  • Identifying aspects of the supply chain that can change consumers’ habits, such as switching products and changes in brand preference.
  • Explaining the feeling of customers towards green cosmetics.
  • Identifying green innovations in the supply chain that cannot change consumers’ habits.

Achieving the above goals will help organizations prioritize the segments of the supply chain to which green practices should be implemented to avoid economic risks. The main goal is to acquire the understanding that will be accomplished using a qualitative research design with main domains in the objectives associated with comprehension and knowledge. This study will focus on a distinctive research design method to collect data. The methodology section of this proposal thoroughly explains the research design and why it is selected.

Related Works

One of the issues that can be used to lead this research proposal is how a firm’s environmental consciousness can be connected to customer pleasure to ensure maximum revenue for the company. Due to that, the company’s commitment to greening initiatives is usually represented through information from environmental awareness. In Kumar, Mangla, Luthra, and Ishizaka’s (2019) study, ecological knowledge is explored and how different supply chain players perceive it. Additionally, their investigation revealed that financial ground determines the implementation of environmental information. This finding focus on profit maximization as a motivator for implementing ecological measures in the supply chain.

Implementing environmental measures in the supply chain is found in other literature. Usually, these measures include external and external practices (Saeed and Kersten, 2019). Furthermore, environmental measures are comprised of two types of activities: collaboration and monitoring (Haramoto, Malla, Thakali and Kitajima, 2020). Both activities can be connected to externalization and internalization of the supply chain because externalization is related to environmental monitoring activities such as market-based mechanisms. In contrast, internalization is associated with a collaboration like incorporating management. When both collaboration and monitoring are specified, they can include auditing if suppliers comply with environmental standards and imposing environmental specifications, certification, and administering questionnaires. More specifications on the practices can be obtained from the literature that answers one of the research questions involving ecological innovations in the supply chain that can change the company’s impression of green.

In most cases, reputation links a company’s environmental preservation measures and its customers. The ecological preservation measures can be considered as pressure that customers put on manufacturers to ensure that they are: products are environmentally friendly, emissions are minimum, and recycling network systems are sound (Chen et al., 2021). Therefore, a company that has poor environmental performance damages its reputation. Apart from explicit violations and organizational scandals, the company’s environmental performance can make it be judged as excellent or bad from customers’ point of view (Nguyen, 2020). This is an indication that customers usually evaluate ecological pressure. Due to this, a research question about what consumers consider an environment-friendly company can be derived.

The three types of research design used to analyze supply chains are literature reviews, case studies, and action research. This research design is considered focused on detailing green supply chain activities and their impact on organizational performance (Kumar, Mangla, Luthra and Ishizaka, 2019). Due to that, the attempts tend to highlight positivistic theories, which may indicate a lack of constructivist viewpoints, which the suggested study aims to achieve.

Research Questions

This study will attempt to answer the following research questions.

  1. What is the consumers’ perception of an environmentally friendly company?
  2. What data is used by customers to evaluate a company’s environmental performance?
  3. What is the environmental innovation in the supply chain that has the potential to influence or shape a company’s green perception?

This study aims to propose research that will tell cosmetic companies the perception of their customers regarding eco-friendly products. To ensure that the companies produce eco-friendly products, they should adopt green practices.

Significance and Scope of Research

The study is significant because it enhances the consumers’ understanding of green supply chain management. Additionally, this knowledge is helpful to small and medium businesses considering green practices necessary in terms of resources. The scope of the study will be exploratory, which implies that there is a need for empirical support to identify patterns that should be done in the future, either using a mixed or quantitative design. Due to increasing societal pressure, emphasis on environmental awareness is on the rise. However, expanding ecological strategies throughout the supply chain can be a complex task requiring collaboration at multiple levels.

Research Methodology

The study’s primary goal is to understand how customers feel about green supply chains, their practices, and purchasing priorities. Due to this goal, qualitative research methodologies will be used to gain in-depth knowledge on how customers create their preferences and perceptions of green efforts. The applicability of the methods will be observed in its key characteristics that include emphasizing understanding from the participants’ perspective, interpretations, and an exploratory approach (Costache, Dumitrascu and Maniu, 2021). The focus group interview will be used as the qualitative method and way of collecting data.

Using a focus group interview is justifiable due to its flexibility and simplicity. Additionally, the method requires a minimal number of participants, and there is a possibility of dynamic quality interaction within the group (Ureña et al., 2019). The moderators of the groups will be researchers, while research questions are directives initiating discussions. Due to the dynamic nature of the focus group, participants’ differences in perceptions will be captured, leading to better understanding. During the conversation, audio taping will be used to collect data that will be a transcript and analyzed later. The participants for the study will be determined according to standard practices for focus group interviews, with the bare minimum being used for convenience. In most cases, the standard methods emphasize that a group should have six to ten participants, and a project can have three to five groups. When a minimum number is taken while adhering to the standard practices, there will be three groups with six participants each (Nyumba, Wilson, Derrick and Mukherjee, 2018).


The study will use convenience sampling whereby volunteers from nearby local cosmetics stores are recruited. Additionally, the study assumes that groups will have women with specific characteristics related to the consumption of cosmetics. However, given that the vital qualification for participation, according to the research aims, is to be a cosmetics product consumer, such a composition will be relevant in the current environment.


Common themes and trends in the data collected will be identified through transcription and analysis. Content analysis will be used to analyze data as it produces and codes small chunks from the conversation transcripts. Each chunk of data will be coded and given a detailed description to ensure the analysis takes into account more than just the frequency of the code. The qualitative data processing will be done using a tool called ethnography application.

Expected Outcomes

Consumers will perceive environmentally friendly companies as enterprises that positively affect the environment and economy. Additionally, consumers will use critical indicators such as water consumption, emission of greenhouse gases, and waste production to determine the environmental performance of cosmetic companies. Further, cosmetic companies will realize that increased pollution and toxic waste hinder their sustainable green supply chain management. Generally, the outcomes from the study will enhance the knowledge of cosmetic companies and consumers on green practices.

Required Resources

  • Pen and a note
  • Audio recorder
  • A laptop with an ethnography application installed

Research Plan

Task No Activity Pessimistic Most Likely optimistic Estimated Duration (days) Predecessors
Background 20 15 9 21 4
Problem statement 20 15 9 21 5
Purpose of the Paper 20 15 9 21
Literature Review
Resources Selection 50 25 19 24 3
Synthesis 15 10 11 10 5
Report 55 43 28 45 6
Research Methodology
Recruitment of the Participants 50 45 40 45 8
First focus group conversation 10 7 5 7 10
Second focus group conversation 10 7 5 7 11
Third focus group conversation 10 7 5 7 12
Analysis and Findings
Transcription 15 14 11 17 15
Data analysis 50 40 27 38 17
Results 7 9 7 8 14
Findings 7 9 7 8 19
Report 19 14 9 12 20
Conclusion and Implications
Summary 15 12 15 18 19
Limitations 15 12 15 18 22
Implications 15 12 15 18 24
Editing and Proofreading 36 31 40 45 25

Reference List

Chen, S., Qiu, H., Xiao, H., He, W., Mou, J. and Siponen, M. (2021) Consumption behavior of eco-friendly products and applications of ICT innovation’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 287, p.125436.

Costache, C., Dumitrascu, D. and Maniu, I. (2021) ‘Facilitators of and barriers to sustainable development in small and medium-sized enterprises: A descriptive exploratory study in Romania’, Sustainability, 13(6), p.3213.

Haramoto, E., Malla, B., Thakali, O. and Kitajima, M. (2020) ‘First environmental surveillance for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater and river water in Japan’, Science of The Total Environment, 737, p.140405.

Kumar, A., Mangla, S., Luthra, S. and Ishizaka, A. (2019) ‘Evaluating the human resource related soft dimensions in green supply chain management implementation’, Production Planning & Control, 30(9), pp.699-715.

Liu, C. and Cheng, J. (2018) ‘Exploring driving forces of innovation in the MSEs: The case of the sustainable B&B tourism industry,’ Sustainability, 10(11), p.3983.

Nguyen, T. (2020) ‘Developing and validating five-construct model of customer satisfaction in beauty and cosmetic E-commerce’, Heliyon, 6(9), p.e04887.

Nyumba, T., Wilson, K., Derrick, C. and Mukherjee, N. (2018) ‘The use of focus group discussion methodology: Insights from two decades of application in conservation’, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 9(1), pp.20-32.

Saeed, M. and Kersten, W. (2019) ‘Drivers of sustainable supply chain management: identification and classification’, Sustainability, 11(4), p.1137.

Tumpa, T. et al. (2019) ‘Barriers to green supply chain management: An emerging economy context’, Journal of Cleaner Production, 236, p.117617.

Ureña, R., Kou, G., Dong, Y., Chiclana, F. and Herrera-Viedma, E. (2019) ‘A review on trust propagation and opinion dynamics in social networks and group decision making frameworks’, Information Sciences, 478, pp.461-475.

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