Blockchain adoption for sustainable supply chain management : economic, environmental, and social perspectives

Munir, M. Adeel and Habib, M. Salman and Hussain, Amjad and Shahbaz, Muhammad Ali and Qamar, Adnan and Masood, Tariq and Sultan, M. and Mujtaba, M. A. and Imran, Shahid and Hasan, Mudassir and Akhtar, Muhammad Saeed and Uzair Ayub, Hafiz Muhammad and Salman, Chaudhary Awais (2022) Blockchain adoption for sustainable supply chain management : economic, environmental, and social perspectives. Frontiers in Energy Research, 10. 899632. ISSN 2296-598X (

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Due to the rapid increase in environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources, the focus of researchers is shifted from economic to socio-environmental problems. Blockchain is a disruptive technology that has the potential to restructure the entire supply chain for sustainable practices. Blockchain is a distributed ledger that provides a digital database for recording all the transactions of the supply chain. The main purpose of this research is to explore the literature relevant to blockchain for sustainable supply chain management. The focus of this review is on the sustainability of the blockchain-based supply chain concerning environmental conservation, social equality, and governance effectiveness. Using a systematic literature review, a total of 136 articles were evaluated and categorized according to the triple bottom-line aspects of sustainability. Challenges and barriers during blockchain adoption in different industrial sectors such as aviation, shipping, agriculture and food, manufacturing, automotive, pharmaceutical, and textile industries were critically examined. This study has not only explored the economic, environmental, and social impacts of blockchain but also highlighted the emerging trends in a circular supply chain with current developments of advanced technologies along with their critical success factors. Furthermore, research areas and gaps in the existing research are discussed, and future research directions are suggested. The findings of this study show that blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the entire supply chain from a sustainability perspective. Blockchain will not only improve the economic sustainability of the supply chain through effective traceability, enhanced visibility through information sharing, transparency in processes, and decentralization of the entire structure but also will help in achieving environmental and social sustainability through resource efficiency, accountability, smart contracts, trust development, and fraud prevention. The study will be helpful for managers and practitioners to understand the procedure of blockchain adoption and to increase the probability of its successful implementation to develop a sustainable supply chain network.