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Environmental Management Systems in procurement processes: the GreenSCOR model

In this step, Dr Maro Triantafyllou investigates Environmental Management Systems in procurement processes: IS0 14001.
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
According to the Supply Chain Council, the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model:
…provides a unique framework that links business process, metrics, best practices and technology features into a unified structure.
(Naslund and Williamson 2010)
The aim is to help businesses acquire knowledge regarding their internal and external processes (Steward 1997). The GreenSCOR model is a modification of the SCOR model, and to this end it:
…integrates environmental considerations through processes, metrics and best practices into supply chain management operations.
(Cheng et al. 2010, Schoeman and Sanchez 2009)
Its aim is to identify the connections between supply chain functions and environmental issues across all stages of the product lifecycle (UNEP 2003; Ntabe et al. 2015). Its operation is based on five central processes of management: plan, source, make, deliver and return (Pinto et al. 2019).
These cover all phases in a supply chain; starting from orders placed by customers, to transactions of physical materials such as equipment, spare part, software and other; and informative interactions with the market in order to plan for the demand and fulfil orders to final recipients. By dividing supply chains in these five processes, the SCOR model defines a set of hierarchical indicators that allow the measurement of performance (Gnomi and Lanzilotto 2013).

GreenSCOR model: identifying environmental impacts

The list below shows where various environmental impacts are created in the physical transformation and flow of products (UNEP 2003). The second SCOR process (source) refers to the environmental impacts of material and supplier procurement operations.

Using the SCOR model to identify the environmental impacts of a supply chain (2003)


  • Plan to minimise energy consumption and hazardous material usage
  • Plan the handling and storage of hazardous materials
  • Plan for the disposal of ordinary and hazardous waster
  • Plan compliance of all supply chain activities


  • Select suppliers with positive environmental records
  • Select materials with environmentally friendly content
  • Specify packaging requirements
  • Specify delivery requirements to minimise transportation and handling requirements


  • Schedule production to minimise energy consumption
  • Manage waste generated during the Make process
  • Manage emissions (air and water) during the Make process


  • Minimise use of packaging materials
  • Schedule shipments to minimise fuel consumption


  • Schedule transportation and aggregate shipments to minimise fuel consumption; prepare returns to prevent spills of hazardous materials (oils, fuels, etc) from damaged products
(Adapted from UNEP 2003)

GreenSCOR model: defining environmental performance attributes

To measure the performance of a supply chain, the SCOR model is using five performance attributes (reliability, responsiveness, flexibility, costs and asset management efficiency) which, however, do not directly address environmental concerns. To link the performance attributes to environmental impacts and create a framework used for the development of environmental metrics, UNEP (2003) established five parallel environmental definitions.
The following table shows the SCOR performance attribute definitions with their corresponding environmental definitions that are used as a guide of developing consistent environmental metrics.

Linking SCOR performance attributes with environmental performance (Source: UNEP 2003)

Performance attributeSCOR definitionEnvironmental definition
ReliabilityThe performance of the supply chain in delivering: the correct product, to the correct place, at the correct time, in the correct condition and packaging, in the correct quantity, with the correct documentation, to the correct customerThe ability to deliver the correct product reduces waste from product discards; reduces air emissions and fuel use from extra transportation for returned products. Proper documentation enables all plays of the supply chain to keep better track of hazardous materials or toxins that are embedded in certain products; thus allow them to arrange for proper storage, handling and disposal
ResponsivenessThe velocity at which a supply chain provides products to the customerThe environmental impacts that affect the speed of material movement, including regulatory or pollution control steps within a process
FlexibilityThe agility of a supply chain in responding to marketplace changes to gain or maintain competitive advantageThe degree to which a firm can meet the environmental demands of its customers. This pertains to the products, their production, transportation and recyclability etc.
CostsThe costs associated with operating the supply chainThe costs of environmental compliance and cleanup as well as the energy costs
Asset management efficiencyThe effectiveness of an organisation in managing assets to support demand satisfaction. This includes the management of all assets: fixed and working capitalManaging assets in a manner that reduces environmental impacts and reduces internal costs
(UNEP 2003)

GreenSCOR model: developing environmental performance metrics

Using the GreenSCOR environmental performance attributes defined in the previous step, one can create a range of distinct, measurable and applicable environmental performance metrics. Below you can see examples of environmental performance metrics developed by UNEP (2003) for the selection of a) supplier(s) and b) delivery of finished product to customer.
Example of environmental performance metrics developed for the selection of a) suppliers, and b) delivery of finished product to customer (Source: UNEP 2003)

Examples of GreenSCOR environmental performance metrics

(Adapted from UNEP 2003)
This table can be downloaded and viewed in full in the downloads section at the foot of this page.

Your task

You are the owner of a furniture business. Identify a range of environmental criteria that you will examine in order to select your timber supplier.
Share and discuss your suggestions with your classmates in the comments section below.


Cheng, J., Law, K., Bjornsson, H., Jones, A., Sriram, D. (2010) ‘Modelling and Monitoring of Construction Supply Chains’. Advanced Engineering Informatics 24 (4), 435-455
Gnomi, M. G., Lanzilotto, A. (2013) ‘The GreenSCOR: A Critical Assessment for Supporting Effective Green Supply Chain Management’. XVIII Summer School ‘Francesco Turco’ – Industrial Mechanical Plants. Senigallia, Italy, 11-13 September 2013, 256-261
Naslund, D., and Williamson, S. (2010) ‘What is Management in Supply Chain Management? A Critical Review of Definitions, Frameworks and Terminology’. Journal of Management Policy and Practice 11 (4), 11-28
Ntabe, E., LeBel, L., Munson, A., Santa-Eulalia, L. (2015) ‘A Systematic Literature Review of the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) Model Application with Special Attention to Environmental Issues’. International Journal of Production Economics 169 (3), 310-332
Pinto, M. M. A., Kovaleski, J. L., Yoshino, R. T., and Pagani, R. N. (2019) ‘Knowledge and Technology Transfer Influencing the Process of Innovation in Green Supply Chain Management: A Multicriteria Model Based on the DEMATEL Method’. Sustainability 11 (12), 1-32
Schoeman, C., and Sanchez, V. (2009) ‘Green Supply Chain Overview and a South Africa Case Study’. in Proceedings of the 28th Southern African Transport Conference (SATC) Pretoria, South Africa, 6-9 July 2009, 569-579
Stewart, G. (1997) ‘Supply-Chain Operations Reference Model (SCOR): The First Cross-industry Framework for Integrated Supply-Chain Management’. Logistics Information Management 10 (2), 62-67
UNEP (2003) GreenSCOR: Developing a Green Supply Chain Analytical Tool Report (LG101T4). United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
© Coventry University. CC BY-NC 4.0
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