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Cory Searcy and Payman Ahi on social issues in sustainable supply chains – PMA 2014 Conference

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The series of parallel sessions of the second day was opened with the presentation “Measuring social issues in sustainable supply chains”, brought by PhD candidate Payman Ahi, of the University of Toronto and Cory Searcy, Associate Professor and Director of the Industrial Engineering Program at Ryerson University.

The essential contribution of their research study was identifying 53 unique metrics used in literature to measure social issues in sustainable supply chains.

The metrics that the two researchers have identified as relevant and addressing the supply chain were analyzed and divided in three main dimensions:

  • Economic (Economic welfare and growth, Community capital);
  • Environmental (Safe treatment rate of domestic rubbish);
  • Social (Safety of workers, Value added and community benefits, Complaints from community).

Most of the metrics address the social dimension, followed by the economic and environmental ones. The results have shown that only 3 of the metrics addressed both environmentally and socially-related issues, while 11 metrics addressed both the economic and social dimensions of sustainability.

Ahi and Searcy concluded by adding the fact that the social dimension of sustainability has received less attention in literature than the economic and environmental ones, so the attempts to measure social issues in supply chains are still in their early stages.

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