A proposed framework to assess upstream supply chain sustainability

Susana Garrido Azevedo, Helena Carvalho, Luís M. Ferreira, João C. O. Matias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


There are few methods that are suitable for assessing the sustainability of companies and supply chains in an integrated way, taking into consideration the economic, social and environmental dimensions. This paper proposes a framework for assessing the sustainability of individual companies and their corresponding upstream supply chain. The framework consists of a set of steps to evaluate the sustainability of both the individual company and their upstream supply chain. The linear aggregation technique is suggested to combine the set of indicators from the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability into a unique value, giving rise to a composite index for the company and corresponding supply chain. The proposed framework represents a contribution in the area of index construction and could be used as a valuable component of sustainability reporting and sustainability management practices. It also represents an important benchmarking tool, offering managers the possibility of identifying the supply chain partners that are best and worst performers in terms of sustainability while at the same time making it possible to improve company performance. Managers can adjust their company’s behaviour according to their sustainability index score and improve economic, social and environmental performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2253-2273
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment, Development And Sustainability
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Composite index
  • Framework
  • Supply chain
  • Sustainability


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