The adaptation of supply chains to climate change
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Today, more and more organisations recognise that climate change is happening and have already begun to suffer from the impacts of this change. However, the predominant response to this challenge has been one of mitigation, not necessarily to protect companies and supply chains from the impacts of climate change, but rather to reduce the impact of business and logistics on the environment. In order to prepare organisations and their supply networks for the projected impacts, the concept of adaptation to climate change has recently attracted increasing attention amongst scientists and practitioners. As most research has been conducted in the public sector, this thesis aims to determine how supply networks in the private sector can adapt to climate change and its related risk factors. The field research is designed as a single large case study and investigates a global coffee supply network. As the coffee industry is very sensitive to climate change it has already taken actions to make the supply network more resilient and can therefore offer valuable insights into the concept of adaptation to climate change. Multiple interviews were conducted and the information received was analysed using two developed a priori models concluded from literature. This research contributes to the literature in supply chain risk management by adding supply chain climate risk (SCCR) as a new sub category of external supply chain risk and extends the literature in ‘learning’ by proposing a process model of network learning as a solution to enable supply networks to adapt to climate change. This thesis also offers a number of mechanisms to provide decision makers with practical recommendations that should be implemented throughout the coffee supply network. Therefore, for the first time, this research addresses the contemporary problem of climate change by taking a supply network perspective and proposing a network learning process that enables an adaptation to the identified and location-specific climate risk. Besides its contribution to theory, this thesis is also highly relevant for practitioners as it offers clear managerial guidance of how the researched coffee supply network can become more resilient to climate change.