Drivers, Practices and Outcomes of Low-carbon Operations: Approaches of German Automotive Suppliers to Cutting Carbon Emissions



The aim of this paper is to investigate the determinants of measures used by German automotive suppliers to cut carbon emissions, and their impact on performance. To achieve this aim the concept of low-carbon operations is developed based on the broader concept of sustainable operations. An integrated conceptual model to research the drivers, practices and outcome of low-carbon operation is derived. The model is tested using variance-based structural equations modelling with data collected from 159 German automotive suppliers. It is found that stakeholder pressure, and to some extent expectations about competitiveness, drive the adoption of low-carbon operational practices. The relative and absolute effect of those drivers varies along the different practices. Regarding the outcomes, positive effects on carbon and indirect effects on economic performance are found. However, the results regarding both drivers and outcomes of the practices under consideration show significant differences with respect to firm size. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment