University of Twente Student Theses


Seeking Sustainability beyond Tier 1 Suppliers within Supply Chain

Heuvelman, T. (2023) Seeking Sustainability beyond Tier 1 Suppliers within Supply Chain.

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Abstract:Sustainability is a hot topic nowadays, also in a business context. Due to social awareness in society, firms are pushed to think about how to deal with this concept and act on it. However, firms at the end of the supply chain do not always have clear visibility of their supply chain. Therefore they are using their direct supplier, tier-1, to improve their sustainability but also further down the supply chain. From the literature, actors and factors that stimulate sustainability were found. These factors are economic benefits, power, incentives, awareness, rewards, and disclosing of information. However, the literature did not mention whether these factors are significant to motivate first-tier suppliers. Therefore, this thesis aims to find out the key factors that motivate tier-1 suppliers to stimulate sustainability toward lower-tier suppliers. Multiple cases were used by interviewing sales and purchasing employees since they have direct contact with buying firms and lower-tier suppliers. Three key factors that motivate first-tier suppliers to fulfill this role were identified. Firstly, the Environmental Responsibility that tier-1 suppliers feels drives them to think and act on the concept of sustainability. Secondly, the pressure from the Government and non-governmental organizations forces them to comply with the sustainability guidelines. Thirdly, the influence of customers can be visualized in pressure from customers, like buying firms or the end customers or their demands creating a marketplace on which tier-1 suppliers are willing to act. Furthermore, sustainability implies not always an increase in prices. Also due to the rising awareness of this concept, the rising of a marketplace related to sustainability was seen. The presented key factors could help organizations to understand what influences sustainability and what they can contribute to the improvement of sustainability within the supply chain.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:83 economics, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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