Results from RCB faculty research on environmental sustainability indicate that overall, improved environmental performance leads to improved profitability and increased sales. For eight years, faculty members of the Rankin College of Business in collaboration with researchers from Louisiana Tech University and Sam Houston State University studied the impact of environmental sustainability on business performance. Through this research they have determined that businesses adopting environmental sustainability strategies can expect to see not only improved environmental performance but also business performance.
“In 2010, environmental sustainability had just been identified as a new strategic imperative for business firms,” said Kenneth Green, LeMay Professor of management at Southern Arkansas University. “It was argued that business firms should implement environmental sustainability strategies because sustainability was required by governments and that it was simply the right thing to do.”
Green worked with a team of SAU faculty and faculty from Louisiana Tech University and Sam Houston State University to further this research area. The team has executed three data collections and published nine articles on the topic.
According to Green, customers today are demanding eco-friendly products and services produced by environmentally sustainable processes and U.S. Manufacturers have adopted and implemented green supply chain management practices to address those requirements..
“Overall, the general conclusion is that the adoption of an environmental sustainability strategy is good for business,” Green added.
Three of the articles were published in A-level journals, one article was named an outstanding paper by the Management Research Review in 2015, and another was identified as one of the most highly cited environmental sustainability articles in Supply Chain Management: An International Journal and a book, A Focus on Sustainable Supply Chains and Green Logistics.
Three additional articles are currently under review, and another Rankin College of Business faculty member is working on a doctoral dissertation that more extensively addresses the role of sustainability training provided by HR departments within manufacturing organizations and what role that plays in performance, Green said.
“The publication of the nine articles with three of those articles published in A-level journals gives the RCOB a large footprint in the existing environmental sustainability literature,” Green said. “The fact that these articles have been cited 553 times attests to the broad impact that the articles are having with both academics and practitioners.”
The remaining three articles under review will cover the impact of sustainability training on green supply chain management practices and environmental performance; the impact of JIT (Just-in-Time) and TQM (Total Quality Management) practices on green supply chain management practices and environmental and organizational performance and the proper ordering of the Total-JIT practices to optimally support the elimination of all forms of waste throughout supply chains.
Robin Sronce, Dean of the Rankin College of Business, adds that the 553 times the articles were cited in additional research definitely indicates these articles are making an impact in the field. Even more exciting, in her opinion, is the incorporation of the research into Rankin’s undergraduate and graduate supply chain management and environmental sustainability curriculum.