Exploring the relationship between unethical practices, buyer–supplier relationships and green design for sustainability

Surajit Bag, Shivam Gupta, Arnesh Telukdarie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable procurement practices have gained popularity amongst both researchers and supply chain practitioners. However, ethical practices in sustainable procurement have been the topic of discussion in the recent years. The goal of the study is to scientifically build a green procurement framework by exploring relationship between buyer–supplier relationships, unethical practices and green design for sustainability. The study was conducted considering samples from South African steel and engineering sector. Data show high rate of wastages and losses occurring at various stages of steel and engineering supply chains. Every steel and engineering company aims to reduce such losses for improving their profitability and achieve sustainability. The empirical findings show that such wastage and losses can be minimised through efficient eco-design and involvement of key suppliers at the design stage so that disassembly, recycling and reuse options not only prove successful but as well cost-effective for the organisation. Also we find that buyer deceitful practices are a strong determinant of green design for sustainability. Buyers making up a second source of supply for green components and preferring green suppliers being approved by top management is helpful for mitigation of supply risks under green procurement process. The present study is distinctive in terms of coverage and its contribution to supply chain theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018


  • Buyer–supplier relationships
  • green design
  • green procurement
  • sustainability
  • unethical practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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