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Understanding Efficiencies Behind Logistics Service Providers' Green Offerings

Karin Isaksson, Maria Huge-Brodin
Published 2013 · Business

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Purpose - Awareness of environmental impacts on society is increasing among companies. In order to turn environmental problems into business opportunities, many companies are beginning to consider how environmental, or green aspects can be integrated into their service offerings. This opportunity can be of specific interest to logistics service providers, whose core business is an environmental impact in itself. The purpose of this article is to indicate where green-labelled logistics service providers are positioned today in their development, and to seek the underlying rationale in development of green service offerings. Design/methodology/approach - This article takes a logistics service provider's perspective and is based on a multiple case study of six companies. The analysis is based on cross-case analysis, and empirical, as well as theoretical, pattern matching. Findings - The attitude towards a green approach differs among the case companies: while some are working towards a green integration throughout the entire business, others offer green alternatives to the original service offering. The results point to possible explanations for these differences, and include differences in range of service offerings, size, and to different management principles for green aspects. Practical implications - The article can inspire logistics service providers in their continuing work to integrate green initiatives into the company. By introducing alternative green approaches in the development of service offerings, logistics service providers can match their own business and context with alternative rationales. Originality/value - While most of the green logistics research focuses on the logistics system's characteristics, this article offers initial insights into how the integration of green aspects into logistics services can impact logistics service providers.
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