Green Supply Chains and Logistics

Environmental concerns are becoming an essential part of supply chain management. Industries are required more than ever to comply with emerging climate policies such as the EU Emission Trading Scheme, as well as satisfying increasing consumer demands for carbon neutral products and for environmental consideration.

Centre for Logistics focuses on tools and practices in supply chain management and logistics that take the environment as an optimisation variable. One candidate technology that holds the potential to enable greening of logistics is radio frequency identification (RFID).

Great Potential in RFID

Research has shown that very few RFID applications (for example in reverse logistics), have explicit environmental performance effects. The use of RFID in this context increases the number of products returned, and provides greater process efficiency for reverse logistic. Other applications of RFID, for example in transport that is part of the supply chain, have some implicit environmental performance advantages (for example, enabling economical and thus environmental transportation). RFID can enable significant reductions in logistic-related costs by helping eliminating unnecessary transportation and finding the optimal mode of transportation for all shipping. This can provide significant carbon benefit and can be perceived as being “green”.

RFID and Centre for Logistics

Therefore, Centre for Logistics focuses on exploring the great potential for RFID, and in particular ad hoc RFID systems, to monitor/regulate the processes and the resource consumption, where a real environmental impact can be achieved. RFID can, for example, help companies to quickly assess their supply chain’s emissions associated to a product or group of products. In generic terms, RFID can be instrumental in correlating the presence/action of a certain object or product with resource consumption. This potentially enables the use of RFID technology to improve planning and process design with respect to resource consumption and for example carbon emissions.

Research in Green Supply Chains and Logistics

  • The research in the Centre for Logistics focuses on exploring:
  • Technologies (RFID, sensor systems) that have potential for green innovation in supply chain management.
  • Planning and control technologies that enable green supply chain management.
  • Analyse the greening impact of different technologies in different parts of a supply chain.
  • How RFID system can be integrated with existing information systems such as ERP, APS, etc?