The role of Supplier Relationship Management in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions from food supply chains: Supplier engagement in the UK supermarket sector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • University of Bristol


Food supply chain operations contribute significantly to Greenhouse Gas emissions. In the United Kingdom (UK), supermarkets are leading operators in the food retailing sector. With 75-90% of a typical food product's "carbon footprint" occurring in the supply chain upstream of the point of sale, socially responsible retailers need to influence supplier behaviour to reduce emissions. This paper aims to examine the role of Supplier Relationship Management, including the use of formal Supplier Engagement Programmes, in the UK supermarket sector towards this end. We use secondary data analysis techniques to examine their Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability reports. This analysis finds that progress is being made in Sustainable Supply Chain Management, but the use of Supplier Relationship Management for emissions reduction is variable in application. Some Supplier Engagement Programmes operated by UK supermarkets could, nevertheless, act as exemplars of best practice, demonstrating how to achieve emissions reduction alongside other sustainability objectives.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3294-3305
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date24 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016


  • Carbon Management, Food supply chains, Greenhouse gas emissions reduction, Supplier engagement, Supplier Relationship Management, Sustainable Supply Chain Management