Spatially Differentiated Sustainability Assessment for the Design of Global Supply Chains
Date of Original Version
Supply chains of modern products are often characterized by globally dispersed activities that have ecological, economic, and social impacts. Life cycle-oriented sustainability assessment methods usually aim at compiling the total impacts of a product without explicitly considering their spatial distribution. This may be problematic because regional characteristics of technology and environment are ignored and opportunities for tradeoffs between local and global sustainability measures are hidden. This paper proposes a framework for spatially differentiated sustainability assessment to support the design of global supply chains. The framework comprises a resource flow model that links production processes to specific locations, multi-scale impact assessment to derive regional and global sustainability indicators, and multi-criteria evaluation balancing the preferences of different stakeholders. An illustrative example shows that the application of this framework to a simplified supply chain of beer production leads to different results when alternative supply chain structures are compared.
Thies, Christian, Karsten Kieckhäfer, Thomas S. Spengler, and Manbir S. Sodhi. "Spatially Differentiated Sustainability Assessment for the Design of Global Supply Chains." Procedia CIRP 69, (2018): 435-440. doi:10.1016/j.procir.2017.11.001.