Critical success factors (CSFs) are the enablers to address the successful implementation of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) practices in organizations. This study identifies and consolidates various relevant factors to develop the SSCM constructs conducive to supply chains in the Indian steel sector. A comprehensive framework of sustainability measurement has been developed through successive stages of data collection, analysis and refinement. Data have been collected from various departments of Tata Steel, SAIL, Essar and Jindal in India. The outcome of this research is a set of reliable, valid and unidimensional first-order measurements that can be subsequently used in conceptualization and measurement of the sustainability of supply chains in steel industry. Using factor analysis, we identify four constructs, namely favourable organizational environment, sustainable procurement initiatives, compliances to sustainability standards and external environmental pressures, which the organizations need to focus on. Additionally, using relative importance index ranking based on the survey data, the top three CSFs are compliance to environmental standards (ISO 14001 certification), safety and health focus (OHSAS 18001 certification) and top leadership commitment and support-all of which are within the organization's own control. This study contributes to the continuing research of supply chain sustainability and provides supply chain managers with a practical approach for measuring and implementing sustainability practices across the steel supply chains. © Indian Institute of Management Calcutta 2018.