Green policies fail to reach beyond first tier of chain

23 April 2003
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24 April 2003

Companies' green policies are failing to have a far-reaching effect on supply chains, according to new research.

Policies rarely extend beyond first-tier suppliers, a study by CIPS and the Middlesex University Business School shows.

The research, whose initial findings were unveiled at the Ipsera conference, revealed that more than two-thirds of the 149 organisations surveyed had adopted a formal environmental policy that generally covered the whole company.

But the policy did not focus on specific purchasing and logistics activities.

A further 60 per cent asked suppliers about their environmental performance, but only 21 firms said those suppliers had criteria for assessing their own supply chains.

Diane Holt, senior lecturer in environmental management at Middlesex University Business School and one of the report's authors, said: "This research raises the question of whether companies can affect their suppliers beyond the first tier."

The full report will be available next month at


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