Lean Thinking for Sustainable Supply Chains

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Himanshugupta
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Planet sustainability
Himanshugupta   8/28/2014 12:51:15 PM
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I do not want to question the comment that flow of raw material, semi finished and finished product across the world pollute the planet six times than all the automobiles in the world. However, what if we cut the unnecessary trade flow then what would be the pollution? Is it 2 times or 3 timer or more. I guess, not much difference as today most of the manufacturin/assemble/service is concentrated in Asia and design/development/research is concentrated to Europe/US. The raw material is spread across the globe. The consumers are also spread around the globe. So, i do not see how we can reduce pollution by constricting today's supply chain.

Ariella
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Re: Planet sustainability
Ariella   8/29/2014 12:23:38 PM
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@Himanshugupta The pollution of cargo ships was noted a few years ago. I saw some articles on the subject written in 2009. I'd give you the link, but the comments with links don't appear to be posting. Just do a search for it and you'll find a number of articles, and they all link to a Guardian one posted on April 9, 2009.  

What Southway proposes is cutting back on that by keeping imports to a minimum. So each area would manufacture as much as possible to serve its own local needs.

Nigel Southway
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Re: Planet sustainability
Nigel Southway   8/30/2014 7:46:47 AM
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Himan

Your comment..."The consumers are also spread around the globe. So, I do not see how we can reduce pollution by constricting today's supply chain."

You answer is contained in your question.. Long Global supply chains are a direct indicator of pollution and waste.. So if we rethink these supply chains and have more regional or trade bloc manufacturing where possible we move toward a more sustainable model in all terms.

Many case studies show that local manufacturing close to the consumer is more effective in so many ways... there are materials that need to be transported across borders but not at the damaging and unnecessary levels we now are experiencing... we even have food products moving between borders and across seas that reside in the receiving country... why?...  

It is also fair to say that emerging economies were not entitled through skill, technology and environmental focus to become the world's manufacturers and support environmental sustainability... just look at the pollution in china today... cheap product and rapid growth mainly through wealth transfer at the expense of very costly environmental results...

We have followed an unsustainable model for our global economy and it needs a rethink.. That's the point ..I am not saying all trade is bad or a global economy is not needed or an intrinsic benefit to mankind but we need through better control, balance and direction to change the model and re-set the plot!

 

 

 

WaqasAltaf
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Planet sustainability
WaqasAltaf   8/31/2014 7:09:34 AM
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Nigel, I do agree with your point but not all places in the world have natural resources required to produce items of essential needs. So import becomes imminent there. And these are not exceptions. But yes, we can reduce long distance imports atleast by buying from or manufacturing in places near the destination. But that's a long term and difficult solution.

Nigel Southway
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Stock Keeper
Re: Planet sustainability
Nigel Southway   8/31/2014 8:48:02 AM
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WasqasAltaf

I disagree its a difficult solution , but I do agree it may be a tad longer term.

Its also common sense and essential if we want a much more stable and sustainable global economy.

A good analogy is this... we may all own cars that can reach speeds of more than 100 miles per hour (166km/hr.) but we have sensible rules that limit this activity due to social safety. It's the same with global supply chains we have IT and transportation capable of supporting absolute globalized trade transfer but we need rules to limit this for social and environmental  safety..

I do see a move in the correct direction, but raising awareness of the alternative to just a focus on efficient supply chains and also making them more effective for all is the game we must learn.

Linking national economics with supply chain management must become an integrated science.

I have many examples of wasteful global sourcing strategies that could be easily avoided..

 

 

WaqasAltaf
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Planet sustainability
WaqasAltaf   9/13/2014 6:38:38 AM
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Nigel,

"Linking national economics with supply chain management must become an integrated science."

I agree that this is the ideal solution and the ministries must work with a collaborative effort. It can happen that the ministry looking after production is working on a product which the shipping ministry doesn't know and when the product gets launched, the logistics to transport the goods become a problem.

Ariella
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Planet sustainability
Ariella   8/31/2014 9:32:26 AM
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@Nigel thanks for stepping popping over for the comments. 

TaimoorZ
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Planet sustainability
TaimoorZ   8/31/2014 3:24:51 AM
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"The consumers are also spread around the globe. So, i do not see how we can reduce pollution by constricting today's supply chain."

@Himanshugupta: That's what I believe in too. I don't think you can bring about sustainibility by reducing trade and commerce. What can really bring about sustainibility is the use of alternate forms of energy that can reduce carbon emissions.

Hospice_Houngbo
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Planet sustainability
Hospice_Houngbo   8/31/2014 10:42:02 PM
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Consumers around the globe can be taught how to reduce pollution. I think that is a global probem that should be understood by every consumer.

TaimoorZ
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Supply Network Guru
Holistic view
TaimoorZ   8/31/2014 6:06:47 AM
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"Technological innovations, like 3D printing, will contribute to achieving this vision of a sustainable future. But in order to get there, people have to come out of their complacency and get motivated to attain this vision"

@Ariella: I think sustainability and the concern for the environment have to be looked from a holistic perspective. You can say that 3D printing will reduce the need for components to be transported and hence lead to less fuel consumption and carbon emission, but what about the components being used to make these 3D prints? Are they made of recycled material? Is that causing any harm to the environment? That also needs to be considered.

WaqasAltaf
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Holistic view
WaqasAltaf   8/31/2014 7:12:58 AM
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TaimoorZ, you are right. Every thing involves some form of raw material and this solution will barely reduce the need for import. Essential needs of life are still not every country's game that is where cross-border trade initially got introduced.

Ariella
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Holistic view
Ariella   8/31/2014 9:22:32 AM
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@TaimoorZ He's referring here to 3D printing enabling manufacturing in places where it is currently now very strong. Even if the machines used for 3D printing do not use recycled materials, just shortening the supply chain will reduce pollution by a very significant amount. Aside from that, 3D printing can actually be very green, as demonstrated by the research of Joshua M. Pearce of Michigan Technological University. I'd give you some links, but the system isn't posting any comments with links, so just Google his name and put in "the recylcing project." You can also see an article I wrote about his findings in 3Dprintingindustry.com



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