Environmental Sustainability a Passion for Master’s Cum Laude Graduate
Growing up in the rural community of Mgai in the Ugu district municipality on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, brought with it socio-economic inequalities which required master’s cum laude graduate, Mr Mandla Mvubu, and his family to live off the land in many respects.
This upbringing is what motivated Mvubu to research environmental sustainability in the supply chain in order to gain new insights on how to encourage companies and customers to contribute towards reducing climate change.
Mvubu’s thesis titled: “Green Supply Chain Management Challenges in the South African Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry: A case of Unilever”, was supervised by Professor Micheline Naude.
The research aimed to determine green supply chain management (GSCM) challenges faced by Unilever and the strategies the company uses to overcome these challenges and how it benefits from adopting the chain.
The research involved Mvubu spending a month as an intern at Unilever which was a valuable learning experience.
‘The findings of my research study indicated that the challenges in GSCM implementation could be categorised into four themes: green procurement; green manufacturing, green transportation, and product recovery.
‘The findings further indicated that the use of an environmental scorecard, auditing, KPIs, energy mapping, rainwater harvesting, bonuses and prices are some of prominent remedies to challenges in GSCM. Hence, these findings will likely add value to other corporations seeking to adopt practices of GSCM,’ explained Mvubu.
The journey of doing his masters in a year although gruelling has been worthwhile as Mvubu’s article titled: “Green Supply Chain Management Constraints in the South African Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry: a Case Study”, which he co-authored, has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Contemporary Management.
‘As a teaching assistant in the Discipline of Public Governance I had to critique written assessments and provide advice on academic writing and research to undergraduate students which in turn improved my academic writing and research skills under the mentorship of Dr Fayth Ruffin. All of this contributed to my achieving excellence in my master’s studies.
‘I find it worthwhile to have a master’s qualification since it will provide me with a thorough grounding into conducting research, especially since I aspire to be an academic. I am now registered for doctoral studies in Supply Chain Management,’ he said.