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Supply chain sustainability: A tertiary literature review

Martins, C.L., Pato, M.V.
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.225 pp. 995-1016
environmental factors, models, supply chain, surveys, systematic review
Over the last 30 years, supply chain sustainability has become one of the most dynamic and prolific decision management research fields. The volume of primary and secondary research articles continues to increase yearly with the introduction of emerging topics, new modeling and theoretical approaches, and multidisciplinary perspectives. Motivated by this body of literature, this study reviews key supply chain management concepts, sustainability perspectives, and methodological literature review features to support the systematic review of 198 surveys published between 1995 and 2018. The objective is to answer three research questions: which are the existent literature reviews on supply chain sustainability, what are their methodological features, and what are their main objectives and subject matters. Following a content analysis, the study maps and assesses the source material according to analytic categories pertaining to methodological and content features. The study shows that systematic literature reviews are becoming the standard method to conduct literature reviews on sustainable supply chain. However, frequently reviews fall short of meeting, and reporting the methodological rigor required by the systematic method. Although most reviews identified adopt a triple bottom line outlook on sustainability, social aspects continue to be underrepresented, namely in comparison with the environmental factor. This tertiary study renders a comprehensive critical survey of the current status of research on supply chain sustainability.