Making packaging more sustainable: Effects of resource embeddedness
Licentiatavhandling, 2023

Firms involved in e-commerce distribution are faced with challenges due to the increasing volume of single shipments to consumers, including concerns regarding sustainability. For instance, the role of packaging has gained increased attention because of over-packed parcels and excessive air within those parcels, which frustrate retailers, logistics service providers, and consumers. E-commerce also challenges established structures for distribution to physical stores, when firms increasingly use multiple distribution channels to reach consumers.

The design of e-commerce packaging affects other resources in retail distribution, and vice versa. In turn, such interdependence not only affects how packaging solutions can be developed but also highlights the importance of various firms developing resources in interaction.

This thesis aims to explore how more sustainable packaging solutions are developed in a business network context. A single case study was conducted to examine how e-commerce packaging interacts with other resources and how this interaction affects various firms in their efforts to create more sustainable packaging solutions. In doing so, the thesis is theoretically grounded in the Industrial Network Approach and focuses on resource interaction and how a focal resource—e-commerce packaging—is embedded in a business network.

The thesis contributes by highlighting the challenges involved in efforts to make individual resources more sustainable in various parts of a business network. The findings underscore the importance of identifying how resources are embedded in network settings. Regarding e-commerce packaging, three network settings are identified: product development, sorting, and packing. The implications for firms involved in these network settings are that interaction is required both within and across the network settings to develop more sustainable packaging solutions.





business network



network setting

Götaplatsen, Vasa Hus 2
Opponent: Malena I. Havenvid


Sandra Brüel Grönberg

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management


Annan maskinteknik

Ekonomisk geografi


Licentiate thesis, report - Department of Technology of Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology: L2023:152



Götaplatsen, Vasa Hus 2


Opponent: Malena I. Havenvid

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