• sustainability;
  • supply chain management;
  • case studies

Case studies of 10 exemplar firms are used to build a coherent and testable model of the elements necessary to create a sustainable supply chain. The cases build on previous research by examining the chain as an entirety, by explicitly examining both the social and environmental outcomes of the chain's activities, and by explicitly asking what these exemplar organizations are doing that is unique in regards to managing their supply chains in a sustainable manner. The analysis suggests that the practices that lead to a more sustainable supply chain are equal parts best practices in traditional supply chain management and new behaviors, some of which run counter to existing accepted “best” practice.