Sustainable Supply Chain Management [WIB22001] (Master Program)

(Alexander Bloemer, Chunting Liu Ph.D.)
Wednesday 13:15-14:45 & Thursday 9:45-11:15 Z534/Z536


Registration for this course is done via TUMonline.

Please consider that this course is limited to 30 students and is planned to be held on-site. Therefore, we would like to encourage students to register that are willing to participate in a lively discussion and eager to learn about sustainability in supply chains.

Course description

The course addresses the topic of sustainability in managing supply chains. After giving a short introduction to both sustainability with its three pillars (environmental, social, and economic) and to supply chain management, the course focuses on the combination of these aspects. Students interactively learn why supply chains are a fundamental driver of the sustainability of economic systems, especially in a globalized context. Moreover, the course provides an overview of approaches to address sustainability concerns at all stages of the supply chain. It also imparts the problem of motivating supply chain sustainability as well as the trade-offs and conflicts between the three pillars.
Students learn about ways to assess and measure the sustainability of supply chains, e.g., with the life cycle analysis and by using the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative. Based on this, they discuss ways to integrate these measures in classical decision models of supply chain management, e.g., with location and routing problems. Students learn how corporations can incentivize their suppliers to behave sustainably and how supply chains can be redesigned to improve their sustainability (e.g., Circular Economy and Closed-Loop Supply Chains). Finally, excursions highlight the connection to closely related fields such as Humanitarian and Development Logistics.
Throughout the course, theoretical topics will be combined with real-world examples from various industries (e.g., textile, food, electronics, automotive). With this, the students analyse the concerns and opportunities that are specific for these industries. Moreover, they discuss current issues in sustainable supply chain management based on recent journal papers.

Learning objectives

The goal of this course is to introduce students to concepts, methods, and tools of managing the sustainability of supply chains. It gives an overview over the relevant literature as well as valuable insights from practice. Moreover, it fosters the students’ understanding of and sensitization for trade-offs in the sustainability context of supply chains by highlighting different roles and perspectives. The course also improves the students’ presentation and discussion skills. Therefore, it provides the participants not only with the necessary knowledge to critically reflect on sustainability issues of supply chains but also with the opportunity to enhance their soft skills.


The course consists of lectures where students obtain knowledge about the field of sustainability in supply chain management. Additionally, students are required to read relevant literature in preparation for the class, are stimulated to deal with this subject deeper and prepare presentations on current topics for the class. Paper discussions and presentations (group work) provide participants the opportunity to specialize on recent topics. A final report summarizes the main findings of the course.


The course does not require any specific prior knowledge.


The grading is based on a final report and presentations including discussions. Throughout the module students present main findings of current journal articles in presentations and participate in the following discussion with their fellow participants.


Teaching contents are based on (selected chapters of) text books and journal articles such as, for instance,

  • Chopra, S., Meindl, P. (2016) Supply Chain Management, 6th edition, Prentice Hall.
  • Cachon, G., Terwiesch, C. (2013) Matching Supply with Demand, 3rd edition, McGraw-Hill.
  • Van Weele, A.J. (2010) Purchasing and Supply Chain Management, 5th edition, Cengage.
  • Van Mieghem (2008) Operations Strategy: Practices and Principles, Dynamic Ideas.
  • Piecyk, M., Browne, M., Whiteing, A., & McKinnon, A. (Eds.). (2015) Green logistics: Improving the environmental sustainability of logistics. Kogan Page.
  • Grant, D.B., Trautrims, A., Wong, C.Y. (Eds.) (2017) Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management: Principles and Practices for Sustainable Operations and Management, 2nd edition, Kogan Page.
  • Souza, G. C. (2013) Closed-loop supply chains: a critical review, and future research. Decision Sciences 44 (1), 7–38.
  • Srivastava, S. K. (2007) Green supply-chain management: a state-of-the-art literature review. International Journal of Management Reviews 9 (1), 53–80.
  • Allon G., Van Mieghem J.A. (2010), Global Dual Sourcing: Tailored Base-Surge Allocation to Near- and Offshore Production, Management Science 56, pp. 110-124.

Detailed literature for every lecture will then be provided in the syllabus.