My guest post today comes from Dara O’Rourke. In his recent Science article, The Science of Sustainable Supply Chains, Dara argues that the field of supply chain management needs to significantly improve and integrate sustainability measurement systems and decision-support tools.
The science of sustainability measurement has progressed alongside efforts to advance supply chain traceability, impact assessment, and aggregation of data into sustainability indicators. Advances in life-cycle assessment (LCA) and product “footprinting” are increasingly being deployed in efforts to turn data into decision-support tools for global brands and retailers. However, the speed and dynamism of modern supply chains creates challenges for incorporating sustainability data into sourcing decisions. In addition, the use of divergent methodologies, data sets, and system boundaries have led to confusion across assessment initiatives. In order for these systems to generate accurate sustainability assessments, there is a need for consistent LCA inventory data and common data sets for up-stream activities; consistent life-cycle impact factors; better uncertainty analysis; localization of LCA data sets; modeling of nonlinear responses and ecosystem dynamics; and improved systems for valuing ecosystem services. Better data, decision-support tools, and incentives are needed to move from simply managing supply chains for costs, compliance, and risk reduction, to predicting and preventing unsustainable practices.
Dara O’Rourke is a professor of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the co-founder of GoodGuide, Inc. which recently launched PurView, a supply chain sustainability data platform for retailers and brands. You can follow Dara on twitter @DaraORourke.
O’Rourke, D. (2014). The Science of Sustainable Supply Chains. Science, 344 (6188), 1124-1127 https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1248526
In his recent Nature article, Climate Economics: Make Supply Chains Climate-smart, Anders Levermann argues that supply chains need to adapt to extreme weather. He discusses this topic in the following guest post.
Extreme weather events are likely to intensify the more greenhouse-gases we emit – and these extremes are more than just a local risk. Links in global economic chains and world markets mean that flooding or heat-waves in one place can have repercussions elsewhere. Extreme rainfall and typhoon Yasi paralyzed the world’s fourth largest coal exploration site in Australia in 2010/11. Coking coal prices went up by 25% in 2011. In order to estimate the impact of climate change on our society we need to understand both future weather extremes and our global economic network. In Potsdam we recently set up a website to collect and analyze this data. Everyone can register and contribute expertise. In a similar fashion as Wikipedia we hope to gradually generate a global community that creates a system of checks and balances to obtain an up-to-date database of high quality and detail to induce a global adaptation of our supply chains. For news follow @ZEEANit on Twitter or register at zeean.net.
Anders Levermann is a physics professor for the dynamics of the climate system and co-chair of the research domain Sustainable Solutions at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Levermann, A. (2014). Climate Economics: Make Supply Chains Climate-smart. Nature, 506, 27-29 DOI: 10.1038/506027a
In today’s guest post, Thomas Y. Choi and Daniel Guide, Editors-in-Chief of the Journal of Operations Management, provide an introduction to their journal, which is a leading journal of our field.
The Journal of Operations Management (JOM) is an empirical journal whose mission is to advance the theories of operations management (OM) and supply chain management (SCM). The goal is to publish original, high quality, OM and SCM empirical research that will have a significant impact on theory and practice. Regular articles accepted for publication in JOM must have clear implications for operations managers based on one or more of a variety of rigorous research methodologies. It is the premier ranked journal, repeatedly ranked above other journals in the discipline. It is one of the OM-SCM focused empirical journals used by both the Financial Times in its rankings of Business Schools as well as by the University of Texas at Dallas in its assessment of scholarship. In terms of citation share, in 2011 JOM was given the following ISI category ranking: 1/73 in “Operations Research & Management Science” and 7/166 in “Management”. The current impact factor (IF) is 4.40 and the five year IF is 7.13.
Thomas Y. Choi is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University. Daniel Guide is a Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University. They have published their research in numerous academic and managerial journals.
Logistics clusters play an increasingly important part in logistics & supply chain management. I am happy to share the following guest post by Professor Yossi Sheffi, a distinguished expert in logistics clusters. Thank you for contributing to my blog.
Logistics clusters are agglomerations of firms that come together to share logistics expertise and know-how. As I argue in my new book Logistics Clusters: Delivering Value and Driving Growth (MIT Press, October 2012), these entities have a number of unique, and generally underestimated, attributes. First, they are self-reinforcing in that logistics clusters use the high volumes of freight they generate to capture economies of scope and scale and reduce costs while improving service quality. These benefits attract more companies, which in turn bring further efficiencies within reach. Second, resident companies use the cluster to pool expertise and equipment, which buffers them against fluctuations in demand. Third, logistics clusters are major creators of employment opportunities that tend not to be “offshorable” and not tied to the fortunes of any one industry. Finally, these entities are building considerable expertise in environmental sustainability. These are some of the reasons why I believe that the private and public sectors need to invest more in logistics clusters.
Yossi Sheffi is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he serves as Director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.