With an annual production capacity of about 25 million tons, U.S. Steel is the largest integrated steel manufacturer in the world. The primary operations segments of U.S. Steel are located in North America and Central Europe. The company manufactures mainly value added steel and tubular products that are used as intermediaries in the other manufacturing industries in the economy (USSteel.com, 2015). Over the years, U.S. Steel has been restructuring their business strategies and making transformations in their production operations with the changing economic circumstances in the country. However, the large scale of operation and the multiple manufacturing units of US Steel across the country make it more responsible for the environmental hazards. The fact that the U.S. Steel is the leader in the global steel market providing the best quality products to the manufacturing and other industrial sectors makes it essential for them to incorporate green logistics program in their production operations and delivery. Green logistics approach incorporates the supply chain management in a way that can reduce the impact of environmental externalities arising from their logistics activities.
The main vision of U.S. Steel is to provide integrated steel to the manufacturing units across the world, while complying with the core values of the companies. The main mission of the company is to provide world class steel using the finite resources of the earth judiciously, so that enough resources are left for the future generations. The company being the world leader in the steel manufacturing is committed towards sustainable management of production and logistics operations, so that the fundamental resources of the company are preserved for future use (USSteel, 2015). The company has been making efforts since past decades in reducing consumption of power, reducing emissions of harmful gases and recycling larger volumes of steel scrap as the basic step towards environmental sustainability. U.S. Steel employs nearly 35,000 workers and the long run success of the company highlights that the workers and the stakeholders are well integrated with the ethics and norms of the company (USSteel.com, 2015). They have been conducting their duties with utmost sincerity while protecting the financial as well as capital assets of the company and delivering the world class services.
The literature review segment of the paper represents a short study about the existing views and theoretical concepts proposed by various authors in context of the subject matter. Therefore, a literature review is useful in analyzing the crucial aspects of the studies in regard to the subject matter and exploits those areas of the study which are not emphasized in the earlier studies. The concept of green logistics has been introduced in mid 1980s and since then, there has been many literary works on green logistics management (Rodrigue, Slack & Comtois, 2001). This section critically analyzes the differential concepts of various authors and highlights the facts that are still needed to be included in this perspective.
According to the Murphy & Poist (2003), environmental sustainability is the major concern for the industries in the manufacturing sector which makes green logistics programs a prime step, towards averting the harmful environmental consequences. The term logistics includes the transport, procurement, distribution and handling of raw materials and final products which are crucial part of production process of any industry. McKinnon (2010) stated that there involved huge energy consumption in the process of transportation and distribution that creates vast impact on the environment and hence, it is a crucial aspect that the industries must be concerned about. According to Sbihi & Eglese (2010), the increasing global distress of pollution and the government concern has put pressures on the industries to reduce their environmental effects of their logistics activities. The distribution of goods through the supply network in both forward and backward directions involved different modes like road and freight transport. The farther the manufacturing units are from the raw material source or the product market, the more is the pollution caused. In this context, Srisorn (2013) stated that the foremost step involved in green logistics management is the proper location choice by which impacts of pollution can be reduced to some extent. The literature work by McKinnon et al. (2015) revealed that green management involved the reverse logistic too. They argued that the resources come back to the nature after going through the vicious cycle of production, distribution and consumption. This necessitates the use of wastes, industrial by-products and packaging residues to be recycled and reused before disposing off.
A recent review by Palmer & Piecyk (2010), demonstrates that the movement of cargoes for transportation accounted for about 14% of total world’s energy consumption which corresponds to a major proportion of carbon emissions worldwide. Lin & Ho (2008) argued that sustainable use of the freight transport would only be possible if the manufacturing industries seriously think about restructuring their logistical networks in such a way that the traffic growth was controlled in the main parts of the city. Contrary to this, McKinnon (2010) said that adopting energy efficient transport (reducing the carbon content of the fuels) or reducing the intensity of freight transport operations are the ways of reducing the environmental impacts of logistics activities of companies.
According to Wang & Gupta (2011), supply chain management is the incorporation of environmental strategies with the supply chain management. It is obvious that the environmental impacts of an industry can be seen in within and outside the corporate boundaries through its supply chain linkages.