Environmentally conscious supply chain



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Texas Tech University


The world economy has had significant growth in the past a few decades based on the rapid development of new technologies and broad international trade opportunities. Unfortunately, this economic growth has given rise to serious environmental problems, which will eventually damage the overall quality of our lives and affect our ability to sustain development of the national economy. These problems, such as depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, deforestation and soil erosion, are the integrated outcome of industries' many sources of pollution. Ultimately, due to increased social and political awareness of these problems, industries can no longer avoid responsibility for their pollution. The stake of the environment plays increasingly important role in daily business administration. Therefore, the global need to protect the environment and industries' objective to increase profits are, for the first time, working on the same side.

To solve these sophisticated environmental problems, companies have to lean on integrated methods. End-of-pipe techniques will fade away more quickly in the future when faced with new problems.

The environmentally conscious supply chain, addressing the whole network of the product life-cycle from raw materials to end customers, is an integrated method for environmental management. Seldom are there applicable quantitative models and evaluation tools for the companies to establish their own environmental friendly supply chain. Therefore, this paper attempts to establish a model for choosing environmental friendly partners for business. The model, based on typical traditional supply chain for the electronic industry, is a heuristic model designed to optimally reduce the adverse environmental impacts due to inefficient management of the supply chain and invalid operation, while simultaneously improving industries' bottom-line. The elemental difference of the traditional supply chain and the environmentally conscious supply chain for electronic industry are identified. Every stage in the extended supply chain will be analyzed. Environmental external costs are evaluated according to current environmental economical theories. An environmentally conscious supply chain model will be built up to help the logistic managers make more informed decisions. This thesis will address how to solve problems in supply chain decision-making, and it will provide an example problem, based on operational research, to solve the conflict between environmental issues and corporate profit.



Environmental management, Environmental responsibility