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Know Your Supply Chain, Know Yourself

Despite demands by CEOs and marketing departments for greener operations, a surprising number of companies are not measuring the impact of their supply chains today.  And as this article notes, it’s not because they don’t want to; it’s because they don’t really know how.

Edgar Blanco is a research associate at MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics, and his research, which is the design of energy- and carbon-efficient supply chains, has two goals:  figure out an independent and viable way to measure the carbon output in the complex industrial network and identify a commercially-viable and consumer-friendly carbon labeling system.

Blanco says that companies releasing data about their carbon emissions is a good first step.  But he says companies also need to consider its suppliers’ assets.

Blanco notes that four forces will push companies to more carbon-efficient supply-chains:  government regulation, societal pressure, market forces and a lack of natural resources.  And he is certain that technology will facilitate the green revolution, such as IT helping companies trace the path of a product from factory to market.

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