Lean and Green Synergies in Supply Chain Management

Lucila Campos, Diego Vazquez

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The purpose of this paper is to investigate how synergies between lean and green supply chain practices emerge. In particular, we explore which practices identified in the literature are actually implemented in a synergic way and we determine what synergic results they bring. An in-depth case study of the Brazilian subsidiary of a large multinational company was conducted using interviews, in-plant observations, and document analysis. The majority of the practices (26 out of 31) bring synergic results to lean and green performance. Synergies can emerge spontaneously (rather than being strategized) even when the implementation of green and lean practices is compartmentalised in different areas, with no department or supportive management team to treat them in a joined way. The strongest synergic results are found in practices related to suppliers and customers because these supply chain actors act as bridges between the lean and green areas. We did not have access to the company customers and suppliers. This restriction made our analysis of drivers skewed towards the perspective of the focal company and the way they framed their interactions. Secondly, our assessment of synergies was in the majority of cases qualitative. Empirically, it is the first time that all synergic practices identified in the literature are explored through a case study. Theoretically, we developed a model of determinants of lean and green synergies based on constructs emerging from our data; behavioural literature in synergies, and research on synergies in mergers & acquisitions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-641
Number of pages15
JournalSupply Chain Management: an international journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2016


  • green supply chain management
  • lean and green
  • synergies
  • Brazil

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