Category Archives: environment

A framework for ‘biomass-to-energy supply chains’

Reference: Martin Svanberg, Árni Halldórsson, (2013) “Supply chain configuration for biomass-to-energy: the case of torrefaction”, International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 7 Iss: 1, pp.65 – 83


The story of “stuff” – insert “closed loop supply chain”

Whether you call it the story of stuff, materials economy, or the story of sustainable, closed loop supply chains, this clip is a nice illustration of how we have traditionally looked at supply chains and their “externalities” and what that does to us. Watch it!


Ash not Cash: Volcano eruption & supply chain disruptions

Volcano eruption – a new ‘unknown-unknown’ on the list of root causes of supply chain disruptions

In most of the courses I teach I include a session on “supply chain disruption”, exploring with students the potential impact of events that cannot be categorised as mere fluctuation in demand/supply.

The list of unknown-unknown is developing fast, and to that we can now add the volcano eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland.

Today, the whole UK airspace has been completely closed for the first time, and airports are being closed in Northern Europe. This will inevitably disrupt flow of goods and materials in various supply chains. The question is not only what and how much the impact will be, the knock-on effects must also be considered.


ps. do you know of supply chain operations affected by the ash flow? I’m doing research on supply chain disruptions, and would be interested to hear from you:

Green and healthy supply chains

Trendspotting on our CFP wall points again at two current focal themes of research, “green supply chain management” and “health care supply chains”. Here’s a more focused assembly of the CFPs.

Green supply chain management: Mar 31 is the deadline of two calls for papers on this topic (sustainability with a call on “Supply chain sustainability“ and Transportation Research Part E on “Green supply chain management“). It then follows with a CFP for the African Journal of Economic and Management Studies on “CSR in Africa“ (Jun 30), and another for the Journal of Cleaner Production on “Sustainability management beyond corporate boundaries“ (Aug 31). The International Journal of Production Economics has two at almost the same time, “Green manufacturing and distribution in the fashion and apparel industries“ (Sep 30) and “Sustainable development of manufacturing and services“ (Oct 30). Timely enough, the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management dedicated its first two numbers of 2010 to sustainability in supply chains. Now even marketing journals are waking up for the topic, see e.g. the Journal of Marketing Management CFP on “Re-visiting contemporary issues in green/ethical marketing” (due in a year, Mar 1, 2011).

Health care operations and SCM: Apr 6 is the first deadline to note here, with a CFP for the European Journal of Operational Research on “Operations research in health care“. One can also note the Annals of Operations Research calls for papers on “OR in the public sector and NPO“ (Apr 30), OR Spectrum’s CFP on “Healthcare operations management“ (Jun 30), as well as CFPs for Decision Support Systems on “Modeling for better healthcare“ (Sep 15), Computers and Operations Research on “Operations research for health care delivery“ (Dec 2010). It is mostly OR and OM research that is called for in health care right now.


Supply chain design for carbon trading

Supply chain design for carbon trading

–Perhaps a speculative statement, but not for long.

As companies can buy emission credits on auctions and marketplaces (horisontal structure of carbon trading), why not include them in trading with suppliers and customers (vertical structure of carbon trading)?

More thoughts on this very soon.


Counting “sustainability” in conference proceedings

With the first cup of coffee this morning, a quick word count of the proceedings of this year’s LRN conference and Nofoma conference result in following:

Nofoma 2007 proceedings (1172 pages):
Sustainable: 49
Sustainability: 26

LRN 2007 proceedings (765 pages):
Sustainable: 188
Sustainability: 100

Both conferences represent logistics and supply chain management. The immediate difference lies in the Nordic dominance of the Nofoma, and the fact that a great number of participants at the LRN conference work in UK. There is some but not large overlap of participants between these two conferences.

Is the sense of urgency greater in UK than the Nordic countries? Who is talking the walk, and who is walking the talk?


Product recalls and customer orientation

About two years ago, I started collecting news about product recalls to use in a lecture on reverse logistics. Students do often know the stories and find it interesting to explore further the potential causes and consequences by using the vocabulary from the reverse logistics literature. I am surprised how fast the pile is growing.

Unfortunately, some of these product recalls become of personal interest for many of us (e.g. as parents). Take for example the two recalls Mattel (toy manufacturer) has had in only two weeks. One of the most recent one being Sarge (a car) from the Cars movie is now among the toys being recalled, according to this piece in today’s CNN. NYT has a similar story to tell
(and more stories from NYT here).

Frequency of product recalls aside, these recalls raise ethical and social concerns: It seems as if companies do not have much idea of what takes place in the up-stream operations of their supply chains.

This has caught the attention of other bloggers; one is Geek Dad, and this blogger here — Rick Klau — has established to collect stories on product recalls that may be of interest for “…parents and concerned individuals to track the latest news regarding unsafe toys”. An interesting attempt to create more transparency about product recalls.


ps. Where on earth did I read something about customer orientation?😉