The approach to supply chain cooperation in the implementation of sustainable development initiatives and company's economic performance




sustainable development, sustainable supply chain, sustainable development initiatives, corporate sustainability, k-means method


Research background: The idea of sustainable development, in the face of the challenges encountered by contemporary society, is gaining increasing popularity. Currently, it recognizes the substantial role that companies play in its successful implementation. Initiatives in the field of sustainable development may be undertaken by companies independently as part of their own activities, or together with entities forming the supply chain as an element of sustainable supply chain management.

Purpose of the article: Identification of groups of companies that are characterised by a different approach to cooperation in the field of sustainable development in the supply chain.

Methods: The quantitative research was conducted in September 2020 with the use of the CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interview) technique and a standardised survey questionnaire. A total of 500 randomly selected companies located in Poland participated in this study. The respondents were representatives of top management of the companies. In order to identify various groups of companies, a cluster analysis was performed using the k-means method in SPSS.

Findings & value added: Based on the literature analysis, 3 areas of sustainable development have been identified, in which companies can become involved ? green design, sustainable operations, and reverse logistics & waste management. For each of the 3 areas, 3 clusters of companies were identified: companies that are not involved in sustainable development at all (1), companies that carry out most of the sustainable development initiatives independently (2), companies that carry out most of the sustainable development initiatives jointly with supply chain partners (3). The article also shows that the companies in different cluster differ in terms of perceived economic benefits achieved thanks to the implementation of sustainable development initiatives. This may suggest the need to develop separate sustainability solutions for such groups of companies in the future.


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How to Cite

Małys, Łukasz. (2023). The approach to supply chain cooperation in the implementation of sustainable development initiatives and company’s economic performance. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 18(1), 255–286.