Investigating supply chain sustainability in South African organisations

Niehaus, Gabrielle ; Freiboth, Heinrich W. ; Goedhals-Gerber, Leila L. (2018)

CITATION: Niehaus, G., Freiboth, H. W. & Goedhals-Gerber, L. L. 2018. Investigating supply chain sustainability in South African organisations. Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management, 12:a335, doi:10.4102/jtscm.v12i0.335.

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Background: The need for sustainable supply chain management has become a necessity given the growing impact of climate change and global warming. The South African (SA) government is planning to implement a carbon tax in the future, which will present financial challenges for organisations already facing social and environmental difficulties. Objectives: The main objective of this article was to investigate the current sustainability reporting practices in supply chains of SA organisations. The focus was specifically on the supply chain sustainability practices of organisations listed in selected sectors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). A secondary objective was to investigate preparation efforts by SA companies for the impending carbon tax. Method: Data collected from sustainability and integrated annual reports of organisations in the sample were analysed using non-parametric statistical tests to compare sectors on the JSE and to compare companies listed on the socially responsible investment (SRI) Index with those that are not. Results: The results showed that there is insufficient data for some of the sectors; however, there are differences in the supply chain and sustainability practices for the remaining sectors. There are also differences in these practices between SRI and non-SRI companies. The research also showed that companies are discussing important concepts relating to the implementation of the impending carbon tax. Research impact: SA organisations need to increase their focus on sustainable supply chain practices. Further investigation into the preparation efforts of companies to reduce their emissions and/or footprint and mitigate the impact of the impending carbon tax is necessary.

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