During the last three decades, in the literature dozens of different definitions were proposed for sustainability. The most well-adopted definition of sustainability is that of the Brundtland Commission (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, p. 8): “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.” Ensuring world-w,de food security, understanding the environmental impact of the economic activity and ensuring basic human needs are met with this definition of sustainability. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to apply for organization and this definition provides little guidance how to identify future versus present needs (Carter et. al, 2008 pp.363-364).
Starik and Rands (1995, p.909) define sustainability as ‘the ability of one or more entities, either individually or collectively, to exist and flourish (either unchanged or in evolved terms) for lengthy ...view middle of the document...
A concept of the triple bottom line was developed by Elkington (1998, 2004), which considers and balances economic, environmental and social goals from a microeconomic standpoint. Thus, the triple bottom line suggests that, there are activities that organizations can capture which not only positively affect the natural environment and society, but which also result in long-term economic benefits and competitive advantage for the firm ( Carter et.al, 2008, pp.364-365)
The term supply chain management has been defined by Mentzer et al. (2002, p. 18) as, “the systemic, strategic coordination of the traditional business functions and the tactics across these business functions within a particular company and across businesses within the supply chain, for the purposes of improving the long-term performance of the individual companies and the supply chain as a whole”. According to Lambert et al. (2006, p. 2) as, “the integration of key business processes from end-user through original suppliers, that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders”
According to Seuring and Müller (2008) sustainable supply chain management is defined as “ the management of material and information flows as well as cooperation among companies along the supply chain while taking goals from all three dimensions of sustainable development, i.e. economic, environmental and social into account”, while Hassini et al. (2012) defines sustainable supply chain management as “ the management of supply chain operations, resources, information, and funds in order to maximize the supply chain profitability while at the same time minimizing the environmental impacts and maximizing the social well-being.
According to the three bottom line, sustainable supply chain management has to deal with multiple and conflicting objectives. In doing so, it combines economical, environmental and social concerns and it integrates solutions into the supply chain of a company. It is essential to reduce negative environmental impacts according to sustainable supply chain management. In other words, it should reduce operating costs, increase profits and social well- being while reducing the environmental impacts (Carter, et al. 2008).