Environmental sustainability and production: taking the road less travelled

Joseph Sarkis*, Qingyun Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


The research on production and operations management and its linkage to environmental sustainability has seen growth in recent years. The International Journal of Production Research (IJPR) community of scholars has contributed to the advancement of this field. This paper provides an overview of how the research in IJPR has evolved alongside the social-environmental evolution. An overview of the literature of the past 55 years, especially more recent works, is provided. Future predictions of research topics and influences are introduced. Overall, this review found that the call for incorporating environmental sustainability into production research goes back for decades to the early years of IJPR publications. Recent work shows a broader perspective on production research expanding to inter-organisational, supply chain, research. This expanded focus is especially evident in environmental sustainability research. There is still a need and call for expanding the horizon of production and operations management research and environmental sustainability. Travelling the road less travelled is more difficult and complex, but the rewards at the end of this road are a healthy society and environment.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)743-759
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 17.01.2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • 512 Business and Management
  • production research
  • supply chain management
  • environment
  • sustainability
  • literature review


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