Suppliers’ roles in sustainability in early product development phases

Benjamin Groeneveld, Shantal Kartoidjojo, Paulien Kuiper, Dolf Reineman, Klaas Stek

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Firms depend on suppliers in early product development phases, especially in contributing to their sustainability. Governments introduce legislation regarding the liability of firms to meet due diligence requirements. Firms will be accountable for violations by upstream or lower-tier suppliers in the supply chain. Firms need to manage the expectations in the relationship with first-tier suppliers. This study identifies five supplier roles in sustainability in early product development phases: the suppliers’ role as a knowledge source, co-creator, innovator, moderator, and disseminator. Traditionally, suppliers provide knowledge by supplying sustainability-oriented innovative solutions or co-creators to co-develop new green products. Relatively new are overarching moderating supplier roles when contributing to the firm's environmental practices and performance and the disseminator role in which the supplier communicates the focal firm’s sustainability standards upstream with the lower-tier suppliers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021
Event30th Annual IPSERA Conference 2021: Purchasing Innovation and Crisis Management - Online Event, Knoxville, United States
Duration: 29 Mar 20211 Apr 2021
Conference number: 30


Conference30th Annual IPSERA Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleIPSERA 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • sustainability
  • New product development
  • Supplier involvement


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  • 30th Annual IPSERA Conference 2021

    Klaas Stek (Discussion leader)

    29 Mar 20211 Apr 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

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