Main content area

Sustainability-oriented management of retail stores through the combination of life cycle assessment and dynamic data envelopment analysis

Álvarez-Rodríguez, Cristina, Martín-Gamboa, Mario, Iribarren, Diego
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.683 pp. 49-60
case studies, decision making, groceries, grocery stores, life cycle assessment, retail marketing, socioeconomics, time series analysis, Spain
A sound management of retail stores is a crucial aspect in the path towards a sustainable commercial sector, with a lack of research studies in the field of joint efficiency and sustainability assessment within this sector. In this sense, this work delves into the role of operational efficiency in the sustainability-oriented management of retail stores through the case study of 30 groceries in Spain over the period 2015–2017. With this purpose, and given the current knowledge gap in period-oriented sustainability benchmarking for management plans, for the first time a five-step methodological framework based on the combination of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and dynamic Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) was proposed and applied to a case study within the service sector. The overall- and term-efficiency scores calculated through this method led to the general conclusion of a relatively good performance of the set of grocery stores over the evaluated period, which is associated with the centralised management strategy followed by the retail company. Furthermore, operational, socio-economic and environmental benchmarks were calculated as target values that could assist decision-makers at the retail company level in setting the path for a sustainable operation of the company's stores. Overall, the proposed period-oriented LCA + DEA method proved to be a feasible and valuable tool for sustainability management of retail stores, being preferred over the static (i.e., single term) alternative provided that time-series data are available at the company level.