Increasing levels of environmental degradation by manufacturing firms has resulted in heterogeneous pressures from various organizational groups on the need for them to conduct environmentally friendly operations. A viable option for these firms has been the implementation of green supply chain practices. The key concern however is whether the implementing these practices actually lead to improved performance. The main objective of this study therefore was to examine the relationship between the implementation of GSCM practices and performance of ISO 14001 certified firms in East Africa. Through the use of positivist research paradigm and descriptive cross-sectional research design, primary data was collected from persons in charge of environmental issues in ISO 14001 manufacturing firms in East Africa. Based on the objective, the study establishes a statistically significant positive direct relationship between implementation of GSCM practices and organizational performance. The study therefore confirms existence of a positive link between GSCM practices and organizational performance thus helping to reduce the uncertainty which has arisen out of contradictory findings from past studies on whether it is beneficial to pursue these practices. The results support the natural resource based view that GSCM practices affords the firm an opportunity for competitive advantage and performance improvement through unique causally ambiguous and socially complex resources. The study recommends that manufacturing firms should implement environmentally sound practices in all phases of the supply chain, beginning with procurement of raw materials through to design, manufacture, packaging, distribution and end of life disposal of their products. Regulators can use the findings to scale up the level of implementation of GSCM practices by enforcing stricter environmental legislation and giving incentives to firms that have already implemented these practices. The findings also provide future researchers’ with a useful conceptual and methodological reference to pursue further studies in this under-studied GSCM area especially in the African context.
Key Words: Green Supply Chain, Management Practices, Organizational Performance, ISO Certified Firms, East Africa