Towards Regenerative Supply Networks: A design framework proposal

Vitor de Souza*, Jacqueline Bloemhof-Ruwaard, Milton Borsato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Anthropocentrism and disciplinary research have not led to effective solutions to sustainability problems. A shift is required towards biocentric, transdisciplinarity-based solutions, to mitigate rebound effects and unintended, negative effects. In the field of Sustainable Supply Network Design, such shift implies on developing resilient solutions that maximize environmental benefits instead of minimizing environmental impacts. Recent researches have showed progress in this direction proposing more integrative approaches, but a framework to design supply networks with the purpose of environmental regeneration is yet to be proposed. This research aims to fill this gap, merging concepts from Regenerative Design, Transdisciplinary Research, Systems Thinking, Social Sciences and Design Sciences. Such framework is regarded as an artefact, and Design Science Research Methodology used for its development: a main problem is identified, objectives for a solution are drawn and the framework is designed. First, the Regenerative Supply Network Design is defined, to guide the elaboration of the Regenerative Supply Chain Design framework, consisting of six steps: (i) description of the network surroundings and identification of a regenerative purpose; (ii) redesign of outputs (iii) network conceptualization, (iv) optimize performance, (v) choose configuration, and (vi) implementation. Among the implications of this research are that (i) practitioners basing their design process in this framework are effectively shifting from anthropocentrism to biocentrism with a clear, defined purpose of environmental restoration and (ii), that the supply networks evolve in the integration with the environment, enhancing eco-systems resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Regenerative development
  • Resilience
  • Sustainable supply network design
  • Systems approach
  • Transdisciplinary research

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