Sustainable development and logistics in retail industry : Multiple case study: Wal-Mart & Carrefour
Perrin, Inés (2008)
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This bachelor thesis deals with green logistics. The research question is: How can a retail company be part of sustainable development thanks to its logistics strategy and actions? To carry out the study, the theoretical part is divided into four parts that are: sustainable development, logistics and environmental consequences, green logistics and introduction to retail field. The two first parts can be seen as the basis of the work as they explain sustainability concept and the consequences of logistics activities over the environment. The third part introduces green logistics, it constitutes the most important part of the study. The fourth one explains what is retailing. It stresses the importance of logistics in that field of activity as retailing companies have been chosen to be studied. To carry out the study, a qualitative multiple case study was used. It was based on the analysis of Annual reports and Sustainability reports of the companies that were chosen, namely: Wal-Mart and Carrefour. The empirical part enabled to confirm what was found in theory. It also supplemented it by bringing some new points. The two parts are complementary. The findings are related to the greening process of logistics in a retail company. Conclusions and recommendations have been withdrawn from the comparison of the multiple case as well as the comparison between theory and empirical findings. The main finding is that green logistics consists in some defined actions that require time and money and that is not necessarily possible for every retail companies of different sizes. Each company depending on its size can lead a different logistics strategy corresponding to what is affordable in term of money and time.To summarise, this thesis gives all the possible actions to green the logistics process of a retail company. The result can be useful for every company of retailing as it gives an overview quite complete of the possibilities. However, adaptation to each case remains inescapable.