Original Research

Green supply chain management in small and medium enterprises: Further empirical thoughts from South Africa

Louis R. Epoh, Chengedzai Mafini
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 12 | a393 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v12i0.393 | © 2018 Louis Roland Epoh, Chengedzai Mafini | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 March 2018 | Published: 21 June 2018

About the author(s)

Louis R. Epoh, Graduate School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, South Africa
Chengedzai Mafini, Department of Logistics, Vaal University of Technology, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: For South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to gain and maintain competitive advantages and succeed, they have to change their practices and adapt their strategies to the dynamic environment of today. A better understanding and application of green supply chain management practices by SMEs could enable such enterprises to improve their performance and succeed in their operations.

Objectives: This study aimed to analyse the relationship between green supply chain management, environmental performance and supply chain performance in South African SMEs.

Method: A conceptual model was proposed and subjected to empirical verification using data collected from SMEs based in Gauteng province. The structural equation modelling procedure was used to test hypotheses in the proposed relationships in SMEs within different industries.

Results: The results of the study indicated mixed outcomes. No relationships were found between environmental performance and two green supply chain dimensions, namely green purchasing and eco-design. However, the remaining dimensions of green supply chain management, namely reverse logistics and legislation and regulation, positively and significantly predicted environmental performance. In turn, environmental performance positively and significantly predicted supply chain performance.

Conclusion: Integrating green supply chain management practices, especially reverse logistics and adherence to legislation and regulation into the SME business strategy, leads to the improvement of environmental and overall supply chain performance.

Keywords

green supply chain management; green purchasing; eco-design; reverse logistics; legislation and regulation; SME

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