The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the instrumental role of supply chains in delivering economic, human, and societal value. At the same time, the pandemic has heightened interest among academics, businesses, and governments in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. In this paper, we argue that in today's hyper-globalized economy, ESG measures are of little value if they do not explicitly incorporate a firm's operations across its entire supply chain. On the other hand, well-calibrated ESG measures should play a central role in firms' day-to-day supply chain management. We present three cases from the COVID-19 pandemic—online platforms, public health supply chains, and vaccine manufacturers—to illustrate the relevance and value of unifying ESG and supply chain thinking. Finally, we spotlight key challenges and opportunities for practitioners and scholars in both ESG and supply chain management.
Keywords: Supply chain management, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), COVID-19 pandemic, operations management
Tinglong Dai is a Professor of Operations Management and Business Analytics at Johns Hopkins University.
Christopher S Tang is UCLA Distinguished Professor and the holder of the Edward W Carter Chair in Business Administration at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
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