Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration


Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong in Dubai


Global warming, carbon emissions and the depletion of natural resources have heralded significant changes in the way organizations produce and deliver products and services. Within this context the greening of supply chains has gained the attention of practitioners in many countries. In some countries, for example, carbon taxation has been introduced as a mandatory requirement. However, the implementation of green supply chain management practices and the impact of these practices on corporate performance are still in a nascent stage.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) faces many challenges including increased energy consumption, the depletion of natural resources and the generation of significant waste and Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Indeed, the UAE’s total GHG emissions increased by 100 million tCO2e between 2007 and 2012 (MoEW, 2015). In addition electricity consumption, which depends mainly on fossil fuel for its generation, has increased at a rate of 8% annually during the same period. Business organizations, through their operational activities, are responsible for a large proportion of these environmental challenges. For example, GHG emissions from the manufacturing sector in the UAE accounted for 16.7% of total GHG emissions in 2012. It was also found that 53.3% of the plastic bags produced annually in the UAE were non-biodegradable (MoEW, 2015). These issues indicate the need to investigate green supply chain implementation across UAE organizations in order to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of implementing green supply chain management practices on corporate performance.

Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore green supply chain management (GSCM) practices and their relationship to corporate performance (CP). The major research objective was to answer the question: What is the impact of implementing green supply chain management practices on corporate performance? The research specifically examines the impact of implementing a set of green supply chain management practices; including ecodesign, green purchasing, environmental cooperation and reverse logistics, on different dimensions of corporate performance. This includes environmental, operational, economic and social outcomes. The methodology used in this research is mainly deductive in nature, however, following a survey employed to collect quantitative data from ISO 14001 certified and none certified manufacturing firms in the UAE, a qualitative phase was introduced to enhance the quantitative results. Thus, a sequential mixed methods approach was introduced by following the quantitative phase with a qualitative research phase that involved collecting interview data from a selected sample of those firms that responded to the quantitative survey. This phase was designed to gain a deeper understanding of why the quantitative study found that some green practices failed to have an impact on some of the corporate performance dimensions.

While the research presents mixed outcomes, some green supply chain practices were found to have no impact on any performance dimensions such as eco-design, while other practices had an impact on a single dimension, for example, environmental cooperation which was found to have a positive impact on operational performance but not on any other performance dimensions. Similarly reverse logistics was found to only impact the social performance of the firm, while green purchasing was found to be a key green supply chain practice because it can improve both operational and economic performance.

This study adds to the body of knowledge by identifying barriers to the implementation of a number of green supply chain practices. For example; this study identifies barriers to implementation of a number of green supply chain practices while highlighting the value of a mixed methods approach in green supply chain research. It contributes to business practice by presenting a stakeholder understanding of the relationship between the implementation of different green supply chain practices and corporate performance, including the level of adoption that may identify the most appropriate GSCM practices needed to reach the optimum performance level. A series of recommendations are also provided for firms interested in improving their footprint and their environmental performance while implementing green supply chain practices.