Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

In today’s global business environment, suppliers can have a significant impact on the buyer’s supply chain. Selecting the right supplier can be a critical decision for manufacturers and distributors, and to aid in the supplier selection decision making process a large number of selection criteria have been proposed in the literature. Supplier selection criteria have traditionally focused on metrics that impact the buyer’s costs. But due to increased business awareness of the importance of sustainability, supplier selection criteria have now come to include measures on environmental and social performance. While environmental metrics for supplier selection have received some attention in the academic literature, there is a lack of research on criteria that can be used to assess suppliers on social factors. This research adds to the supplier selection criteria literature by identifying both environmental and social factors that can be used to evaluate suppliers in the Food and Beverage, Food and Staples Retailing, and Personal and Household Products industries. We develop these factors by evaluating the supplier codes of conduct of companies that have been recognized by external groups for their efforts in sustainable business operations. We also analyze each company’s web site and most recent sustainability report to corroborate our findings. Our framework will consist of a stratified list of criteria based on importance illustrating how these criteria can facilitate the selection of a sustainable supplier.

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