SSCM: Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 10.28.56 AM

Goal: To address environmental, financial, security, and risk factors to allow supply chains to remain sustainable

Overview: Sustainable supply chain management involves integrating environmentally and financially viable practices into the complete supply chain lifecycle, from product design and development, to material selection, (including raw material extraction or agricultural production), manufacturing, packaging, transportation, warehousing, distribution, consumption, return and disposal. Environmentally sustainable supply chain management and practices can assist organizations in not only reducing their total carbon footprint, but also in optimizing their end-to-end operations to achieve greater cost savings and profitability. All supply chains can be optimized using sustainable practices.

For many organizations logistics supply chains may have a far greater impact on the environment that any other part of their operations, such as manufacturing. While most corporate and public focus has been on the sustainable profile of a product, (i.e. its source and whether it is recyclable), there is a need to spotlight and to understand the sustainability issues related to the transportation and distribution of those products.

Due to commercial, regulatory, and competitiveness pressures, there is the need for global collaboration in the area of sustainable supply chain management.  As a starting point, the two co-leaders of this IMS MTP project lead signature umbrella research efforts in this field in their respective IMS regions.  These are the Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation of the USA which is dedicated to the topic and the Zaragoza Logistics Center in Europe which is launching a European Technology Platform on supply chain logistics which will bring industry together to help the European Commission shape future research call topics within Horizon 2020.

IMS Activity:

  • Analyze supply chains to optimize “how to transport” and “what to transport.”
  • Create a metrics-based sustainability assessment service, with independent verification, to assess energy efficiency, security, risk, etc.


  • Sustainable Supply Chain Foundation- USA
  • University of Kentucky, Institute of Sustainable Manufacturing- USA
  • Zaragoza Logistics Center- EU
  • ITSEM- Mex

This document with a “Rev” filename extension is a working draft.  Comments and ideas are welcome.