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Implementation of sustainable manufacturing practices in Indian manufacturing companies

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Purpose: In the current global manufacturing scenario, all most all major players are now in a position to commit themselves to sustainability in all their operational initiatives and each of them follow their own methodology to attain their goal of sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to assess the sustainable manufacturing practice (SMP) in Indian manufacturing sector. This paper is also focused on the how lean practice leads to the sustainable manufacturing (SM). Design/methodology/approach: A survey methodology is used for this research. The SMPs are identified for the literature review and survey questionnaire was framed. In all, 345 usable responses from four sectors namely automobile, electrical and electronics, machinery and process were collected through Google survey. Findings: This research is focused on the SMPs. From this research it is found that sustainable product and process design (SPPD), lean practices (LP), agile practice and customization, sustainable supply operation and distribution and product recovery and return practices lead to the SM. Research limitations/implications: This study has some limitations, which future researchers could consider. The large industries of Indian manufacturing across four sectors have been considered, the study can be further taken up to the micro, small and medium enterprises of the Indian manufacturing scenario. The questionnaire can be further developed as that it can be used for a global survey across various sectors and then comparison can be made between the Indian companies and their global counterpart. In future longitudinal studies can be conducted by considering the other SMPs like mass customization, smart manufacturing practices, etc. Practical implications: The present research helps the stakeholders to develop strong regulatory norms/policies to promote the SMPs in Indian manufacturing industries. This research may help production/manufacturing managers/practitioners to understand various issues related to SM and how they can be used gainfully to improve their practices and performances towards sustainable development. Social implications: This study enriches the corporate social responsibility in the organization. Corporate social responsibilities activities to be undertaken by the company shall include poverty and malnutrition, promoting health care including preventive health care and sanitation including contribution to the Swachh Bharat Kosh set-up by the Government of India for the promotion of sanitation and making available safe drinking water. This reinforces the company broader aim through its business activities to contribute to the wellbeing and sustainable development. Originality/value: This study offers evidence of the implementation of SMPs namely SPPD, LP, agile practices and customization, sustainable supply operation and distribution and product recovery and return practices in Indian manufacturing organization. The authors propose a conceptual framework for SMPs and empirically tested.

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