Towards the development of a green operations model and its application in the automotive industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


This paper describes the progress of research aimed at developing a model for Green Operations, which seeks to improve environmental decisions in organisations and is applied in the automotive industry. The main
motivations for the paper are increasing concerns and pressure for better environmental performance of businesses, in particular the automotive industry due to its large consumption of raw material and the related environmental
impacts of vehicle production, use, and final disposal. In fact, the development of BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is likely to accelerate the pollution of air, water and soil, as well as intensifying the depletion of natural resources due to their large populations. Thus, the complexity of today’s global economy and the uncertainty about remaining resources and their regeneration make Environmental Management one of the central concerns to companies and countries that want to be competitive in the future. The automotive industry also faces economic challenges because car makers have been struggling against high break-even points, low profit margins, saturated markets and high investment costs for new assembly plants as well as water and energy consumption during manufacturing, toxic emission from production processes and stricter regulations for emissions, use and final disposal of the cars. The model described in this paper draws on three major fields of research, i.e. Environmental Management, Operations Management and Automotive Production. Its framework is based on a review of the literature relating
to sustainability and the automotive industry. The main results of this work so far are the proposed model of Green Operations itself and its application for automakers. It has a life-cycle approach and focuses on the phases of the
operations function, connecting them to existing environmental practices or development of a new technology. The starting point of the Green Operations model is an environmental SWOT analysis, rather than the more usual
approach of identifying significant environmental aspects and impacts. This change tries to highlight possible solutions and promotes a proactive behaviour among companies towards a more sustainable and greater financial performance. This paper accomplishes two out of the four phases of our research: literature review and framework development. The other stages are the empirical research and model validation. The first will involve a survey
among managers within the automotive industry, and the second will be a case study in an automotive company. The limitations of the research relate to the current application of the model, focussing only on the automotive industry. Further research will be undertaken to widen the model in practice and ensure the model can lead more organisations to make better sustainable decisions.
It is intended that this paper will lead to a better understanding of environmental issues amongst researchers and practitioners that are interested in sustainability, especially for automotive industry. Its relevance is based on
the summary of the various concepts, strategies and knowledge on sustainability and the automotive industry, as well as the current lack of a single approach that integrates sustainability in car makers’ operations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManagement of technology, innovation and value creation
Subtitle of host publicationselected papers from the 16th international conference on management of technology
EditorsMostafa H. Sherif
Place of PublicationMiami, FL, USA
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2007
Event16th International Conference on Management of Technology - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: 13 May 200717 May 2007


Conference16th International Conference on Management of Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami, FL


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