The way organizations manage their value chain has changed dramatically over the past decade. Today, organizations take account of economic issues, but they also adopt a broader perspective of their purpose including social and environmental issues. Yet despite its global spread, sustainable value chain management remains an uncertain and poorly defined ambition, with few absolutes. The social and environmental issues that organizations should address easily can be interpreted as including virtually everything. Current literature on the topic seeks to understand the effects and management of initiatives dealing with diversity, human rights, safety, philanthropy, community, and environment. However, the penetration of social and environmental considerations into value chain management is described as ’desire lacking reality’ thereby making the idea a patchy success. The objective of this research anthology is to investigate different angles of sustainable value chain management. The book’s 27 chapters fill holes and explore new fields; the chapters are organised in five sections: Sustainable value chains - context, drivers, and barriers; Sustainable value chains - managing activities; Sustainable value chains - managing networks and collaboration; Sustainable value chains - integrative perspectives; and Sustainable value chains - specific sectorial and industry perspectives.
’The last two decades have seen the growing recognition in business that social and environmental problems are increasingly business problems. Initially, it was in the sectors most obviously affected, such as the resource-extraction industries, now it is becoming widely taken for granted as businesspeople in many sectors come to see how their companies affect and are affected by forces such as climate change, resource scarcity, and population growth. As this research anthology makes amply clear, value chains are key to an effective response by companies to many of these sustainability challenges, and organizations are now starting to give attention to sustainability in managing their value chains. Drawing on a wide range of different geographical and industry perspectives, this rich collection of articles provides a basis for deeper understanding of both the sustainability challenges in value chains and the business opportunities.’ N. Craig Smith, INSEAD, Fontainebleau Cedex, France