Developing environmental sustainability by ANP-QFD approach: The case of shipping operations

Jasmine Siu Lee Lam, Kee Hung Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


As a key trade facilitator, the impact of shipping on the global economy and societies cannot be underestimated. However, there are increasing trends of carbon emission caused by the shipping industry and the related cargo flow activities. As such, the adoption of green shipping practices (GSP) is increasingly popularized by shipping companies. This study aims to develop a decision-support model with systematic metrics for shipping companies to attain environmental sustainability in their operations. An integrated analytical approach which combines Analytical Network Process (ANP) with Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is proposed to serve this purpose. A case study of an international tanker shipping company is used to demonstrate the application of this approach to enhance eco-efficiency. The case results show how the ANP-QFD model can be deployed to understand customers' expectation for environmental management and develop operational measures for shipping companies to achieve environmental and market-oriented outcomes. Accordingly, this study develops the concept of Customer Cooperation Programme for Sustainability in the shipping management context. From the practical standpoint, shipping firms that emphasize sustainability as a competitive priority will benefit by communicating sustainability efforts to better serve their customers, particularly those keen on environmental preservation. The ANP-QFD approach is an integrative method helpful for shipping managers to incorporate the 'voice' of customers for greening into their decision-making and operations processes. The decision-support tool is useful for shipping companies to meet customer requirements for environmental performance and thus progress towards achieving more sustainable performance outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Analytical network process (ANP)
  • Customer cooperation
  • Environmental performance
  • Quality function deployment (QFD)
  • Shipping
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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