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Critical Evaluation Of Environmental Impact In Supply Chains Add in library

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Question:

Describe thee selection of suitable modes of transport and reasons, critical evaluation of how carbon footprint and environmental impact could be reduced.

 

Answer:

Introduction

In present context, it is very difficult for the business organizations to sustain in the industry without maintaining the economic viability. There are so many polices, rules and regulations made by government for maintaining the economic viability. Business organizations are bound to follow those policies, rules and regulations to sustain in the industry. In present business world, supply chain is an essential part for delivering the goods to the other organizations and customers. Effective supply chain management is required for maintaining the delivery of goods in well manner and to continue the flow of production. But supply chain also creates impact on environment such as mode and way used by organization to supply the products can create negative impact or not (Sarkis 2012). Companies need to focus on maintaining the rules and regulation for ensuring the economic viability and sustaining in the industry. The purpose of applying the environmental supply chain management by the business organization is to look for their facilities (Ageron, Gunasekaran and Spalanzani 2012). The supply chain of an organization can be considered as the environmental supply chain management when they can ensure that supply chain is friendly to the environment. Working with suppliers on environmental issues does not only generate significant environmental benefits, but also opportunities for cost containment, improved risk management, enhanced quality and brand image. Business organizations must need to address the all environmental issues before developing supply chain management for getting the benefit.

The purpose of the current study is to analyze the environmental impact of moving 96,000 drive shafts per month from UK supplier in Oldham to the customer’s assembly facility near Budapest. The focus is to identify the suitable mode of transport and its environmental impact. Critical analysis has been conducted to identify how the carbon footprint and environmental impact can be reduced. The development of innovative is to be discussed for reducing the environmental impact.

Selection of Suitable Modes of Transport and Reasons

There are three options for transporting goods of any business from one country to another country. The organization can use the help of transportation mode like road, sea, air and rail. It has been seen that there is ample ferry option in Budapest, but in Oldham there is no such option to transport business good over the ship. Therefore, ferry services will not be suited for transporting 96000 drive shafts per month, from the UK supplier in Oldham to the customer assembly facility near Budapest in Hungry. As the drive shaft has to be transmitted frequently that is per month, it will be better if the suppliers use road or air mode of transportation (Keshavarzian et al. 2012). The suppliers have to consider several things while choosing transportation mode between two countries. It can be suitability of time, flexibility and cost. The suppliers are to transport drive shaft per month; therefore, they need to be very careful about the cost of the transportation.

 In this context, road transportation will be best for the supplier of UK in Oldham. There are many types of land transportation vehicles available between Oldham and Hungry in Budapest. The best option for the UK suppliers would be the trucks. They can supply many heavy drive shafts at one time by the trucks. On the other hand, road transportation needs very less investment as compared to other mode of transportation like air and railways. The cost of constructing, maintaining and operating the road are very cheap (Chowdhry and Kone 2012). Therefore, the charge for using the road transportation is very low. The suppliers of UK in Oldham have to give less tax to the government for transporting drive shafts frequently to Budapest (Suzuki and Dai 2013). Road transportation will also be very flexible as the time, and routes can be adjusted according to individual requirement without much inconvenience. The intermediate loading and handling can be avoided through road transportation. Therefore, risk of damaging drive shaft can be minimized. As the drive shafts have to be transmitted quickly, road transportation will be the best option because no time is wasted in booking the good and taking delivery of goods like water and railway transportation. The suppliers can also use various environmental friendly trucks apart from normal trucks for transporting drive shafts (Soon et al. 2013). It will be helpful in minimizing the pollution of the countries from the truck reaching Hungry in Budapest.

The suppliers of UK can also use air transportation mode for transporting drive shafts. It will be the fastest shipping method among all types of transportation modes. The arrival and departure time of Cargo flight is very reliable (SteadieSeifi et al. 2014). Even if the suppliers miss any cargo aircraft, it will not be very critical because the cargos depart every hour. Drive shafts have high potential to be damaged and theft. A tight level of security is managed over the cargo by airport security (Bellos, Ferguson and Toktay 2013). Therefore, Cargo aircraft will provide a high level of security over the drive shafts transmitted by the UK suppliers of Oldham. Air shipment needs less heavy packing of the good to be transported. Thus, the UK suppliers can save time and money for providing service in packaging while transporting drive shaft to Hungry in Budapest.

Assessment of the Environmental Impact of the Transportation Modes

Impact of Road Transportation

Air pollution

The land transportation will have great effect on the air quality of the environment. Highway vehicles are the sources of the pollution in the form of unwanted green house gas. The emission of green house gas affects the air quality (Chester et al. 2013). Thus, it causes damage of human health. Toxic air pollutants may lead to cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological diseases. The emission of carbon monoxide may reduce the availability of oxygen (Arıkan, Fichtinger and Ries 2014). The emission of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides may cause acid rain when it mixes with the cloud. It reduces agricultural crop yield and even causes decline of forest.

Noise pollution

Road transportation causes chaotic and irregular sound in the environment, which is traumatizing for hearing organ by it disturbing and unpleasant character. Long-term exposure of sound level, which is above 75 dB, is seriously harmful for the human life and causes different diseases (Giles-Corti et al. 2016). However, utilization of hybrid car in place of transporting the drive shaft may not be so harmful in regards to sound pollution.

Water pollution

Road transportation may also affect the water quality of the environment. Fuel, chemicals and many others hazardous particles emitted from the road transportation can pollute the water quality of river, lake and ocean. It can have great effect on the life of fishes in the water. It can harmfully affect the breeding system of the fishes of the ocean and lakes (Wathern 2013). The land will also be polluted, as the irrigation system will provide polluted water in the land. Therefore, it will ultimately reduce the fertility of the soil.

 

Environment impact of Air transportation

Climate change

Burning hydrocarbon in oxygen produces water vapour. The water vapour produced by air craft in the high altitude condense into droplets and mixes with the cloud that causes cold in the atmosphere. The humidity of the atmosphere is also increased by the emission of water vapour in high altitude (Bassam 2013). Cirrus cloud may be formed via increase in formation of contrails. This cirrus clouds have a great affect on the global warming.  Thus, it changes the climate of the environment. The potentiality of rain can also be minimized through the particles emitted from the aircraft.

Noise pollution

Air transportation has a great effect on the sound system of the environment. Especially, the people who live in the airport area are deeply affected by the noise created by the aircraft. When takes off on the runways, it creates an unwanted sound pollution on the environment. The old age people around the airport suffer from several types of sound related diseases from the sound pollution created by the aircraft take off and landing (Salvi, Subramanian and Panwar 2013). It also hampers the learning of the students as the mind of student is diverted while they study with concentration.

Critical Evaluation of how Carbon Footprint and Environmental Impact could be Reduced

It has already discussed that climate change and environmental issues are major issues for the world. In this case, each and every individual organization should take responsibility for reducing the level of carbon which is occurred by pollution. There is already both domestic and international framework for controlling the carbon foot print. Organizations need to follow those frameworks for mitigating the carbon footprint. Recently, globalization has opened the opportunities for doing the business globally. So, the global supply chain network has increased due to the implementation of new business policies by UK government. Side by side, it has increased the length of transportation. Therefore, environment is also affected by the increasing of transportation system. Considering the green concept, it can help to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact. Companies need to play effective role and consider the environmental policies related to the supply chains for increasing the efficiency (Lin 2013). Most of the multinational organizations have already applied green practices for the supply chain to reduce the carbon footprint and to improve the sustainability. Maximum number of organization has achieved 40% reduction of CO2 emission in last year. Recently, Toyota Motor Europe has implemented the five year environmental action plan. The main objective of that plan is to establish a low-carbon society and the company is focused on developing hybrid technology for cars in the design phase which can help in reducing the energy utilization and also emission in the production stage (Chaabane, Ramudhin and Paquet 2012). It is not only the end, it is also focused on optimizing route planning to limit emissions in logistics.

According to the statement of Diabat and Govindan (2011), companies need to set certain goal and objectives to manage the carbon foot print in the supply chains concerning the environmental impact. The goal and objective should be done in such a manner in which carbon footprint management can affect the traditional business goals such as operational efficiency and profitability. The goal of the organization should focus on implementing the green supply chains and establishment of a green image factor. In this case, companies can the merge the corporation social responsibility program with the carbon foot print management to reduce the carbon foot print as well as environmental impact. Companies can take several actions to identify the role of different activities which can take crucial part for reducing the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emission.  Companies can consider several activities such as identification of those activities which mostly contribute in the greenhouse gas emission. Another activity is that identification of the role of all suppliers included in supply chain. If a company considers the carbon footprint management from a product life-cycle perspective, organizations should take into account the emissions of all the stages included in supply chain network from raw material extraction to the recycling of disposal of waste (Tseng and Chiu 2013). The companies need to rank the supply chain activities on the basis of contribution to the carbon foot print.  The rank of activities may vary industry to industry such as in case of manufacturing, maximum carbon emissions occur due to use of high energy. On the other side, the critical activities for food industries are the raw material extraction or the farming stage. But generally, in transportation of product generates maximum amount of carbon footprint in the supply chain of an organization. According to the review of Sarkis, Zhu and Lai (2011), transportation of goods accounts almost 14% of the total green house gas emissions and three-quarters of total emissions is generated through road transport. So, in this case, it is important to identify the role of each partner such as third-party providers involved in such chain. It can help to the companies to identify the strength and weakness of them and also to identify new opportunities for improvement.

Discussion of Innovative and Current Technology Available for Reducing the Environmental Impact

On the basis of information related to supply chain, it has already described that road transport will be better for transferring of drive shafts from Oldham to Hungary. But it has also been described that road transport create more impact on the environment. So, the company needs to take proper action to reduce the impact as much as possible for the sustainability.  In this case, technology can play vital role for reducing the environmental impact. The company needs to assess the activities related to road transportation and role of third-party logistics for taking effective action (Gold and Seuring 2011). Nowadays, it is found that maximum organizations are trying to implement the concept of green supply management through using new technologies. The purpose of developing green supply management is to increase the operational efficiency and reduce the hurdles for sustainability. The goods are transferred in road transportation through truck and other goods carrying car. Petrol or diesel is used to drive those vehicles. It can be found that petrol and diesel increase more amount of carbon emission which create more impact on environment. The environment is more affected by vehicles and cars. So, alternatives should be applied instead of oil for driving car which can reduce the environmental impact. In recent years, new vehicles with new technology have been introduced to drive through other energies rather than petrol and diesel. Natural gas or bio gas can be used for driving those of types of vehicles (Azevedo, Carvalho and Machado 2011). The cost of transportation with these cars is also less and it does not create any negative impact on environment.

So, the company can use types of cars for transferring the goods from one place to another place. It can reduce the overall costs and the environmental policies can also be fulfilled for sustainability. The demand of solar vehicles has also increased because these cars also reduce the environmental impact and the cost of transportation. So, the company can also use solar energy vehicle for transferring goods from one place to another place. For transferring goods to long distance, the company can transport bulk amount of goods at one time which can reduce the requirement of vehicles and also frequency of transportation. It can reduce the environmental impact and can also reduce the transportation cost for the company. They should avoid the old vehicles and should use vehicles of new technology which can reduce the carbon footprint. It is estimated that transport and distribution systems emit a similar proportion of CO2 emissions from energy as manufacturing operations (Wong, Boon-Itt and Wong 2011). This means that compared to other parts of the supply chain, this is not particularly energy intensive. The drive shafts needs to be transferred for long distance. Goods transport has an extremely high dependency on a single energy source. This means increasing the amount of transferring of goods, CO2 will grow in line. But the aim of the company should be to use fuel efficiently in transportation of goods to keep emissions from road transport as low as possible. Compressed natural gas is cheaper comparing to diesel and petrol. The price of compressed natural gas also fluctuates less than diesel. So, it can use vehicles which run by natural compressed gas can reduce the transportation cost as well as overall cost of the company. On the basis of overall discussion, it is clear that vehicles with new advanced technology will reduce the carbon footprint emission as well as environmental impact.

Recommendations

The focus of the company should make the logistics system more efficient to deliver real business benefits. The benefits are: reducing of transportation cost as well overall costs, lower green house emissions, better business planning and an improved operational efficiency. The company needs to build a more responsive supply chain and to develop new technologies for creating opportunities to deliver greater value as well as reduce the pollution and environmental impact. The company should ensure that vehicles used by them are in full order to reduce carbon emission. The company can save the costs and reduce the carbon emissions from having fewer trucks on the road and truck loads increased. They should develop and apply the new technology for reducing the carbon emission and also the overall costs. They can use battery-powered vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles for delivering the goods from one place to another place. They can also use the truck which runs on compressed natural gas rather than diesel. It can produce 11% less CO2, 95% less particulate emissions and 35% less nitrogen oxide. On the other side, the company can consider other modes of transportation such as sea and rail which does not affect the environment like road transportation. They can reduce the times of delivery of goods through road system and can use other modes of transportation occasionally to reduce the carbon footprint emission and environmental impact. So, the company needs to build strong relationship and partnership with the logistics providers, rail company and cargo ship transporters for implementing environmental supply chain management.

Conclusion

On the basis overall discussion, it is clear that there is strong role of environmental supply chain for maintaining eco-friendly environment. At present, carbon footprint emission and climate change are major issues which are caused by pollution. Road transportation creates more negative impact on the environment because it increases the pollution at very fast rate rather than other transportation system. Each and every company should focus on this part for maintaining the environmental viability otherwise it can create major issues in the future. Companies should give more focus on the social aspect because the basic purpose of an organization is to serve the society not to create harmful situation for them. So, the company should implement green supply chain management for maintaining the environmental viability. Companies can achieve higher profit for short time but they could not be able to sustain in the industry without maintaining the environmental viability. So, companies need to concentrate more on this area for better and healthy society. They should implement the actions for reducing the carbon footprint as much as possible.

 

Reference list

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Arıkan, E., Fichtinger, J. and Ries, J.M., 2014. Impact of transportation lead-time variability on the economic and environmental performance of inventory systems. International Journal of Production Economics, 157, pp.279-288.

Azevedo, S.G., Carvalho, H. and Machado, V.C., 2011. The influence of green practices on supply chain performance: a case study approach.Transportation research part E: logistics and transportation review, 47(6), pp.850-871.

Bassam, N.E., 2013. Energy plant species: their use and impact on environment and development. Routledge.

Bellos, I., Ferguson, M. and Toktay, L.B., 2013. To Sell and to Provide? The Economic and Environmental Implications of the Auto Manufacturer's Involvement in the Car Sharing Business. The Economic and Environmental Implications of the Auto Manufacturer's Involvement in the Car Sharing Business (December 27, 2013).

Chaabane, A., Ramudhin, A. and Paquet, M., 2012. Design of sustainable supply chains under the emission trading scheme. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), pp.37-49.

Chester, M.V., Nahlik, M.J., Fraser, A.M., Kimball, M.A. and Garikapati, V.M., 2013. Integrating life-cycle environmental and economic assessment with transportation and land use planning. Environmental science & technology, 47(21), pp.12020-12028.

Chowdhry, S. and Kone, D., 2012. Business analysis of fecal sludge management: Emptying and transportation services in Africa and Asia. Draft report). The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Diabat, A. and Govindan, K., 2011. An analysis of the drivers affecting the implementation of green supply chain management. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 55(6), pp.659-667.

Giles-Corti, B., Sugiyama, T., Badland, H., Koohsari, M.J. and Owen, N., 2016. Discussion of “How to Have Sustainable Transportation without Making People Drive Less or Give Up Suburban Living” by Mark Delucchi and Kenneth S. Kurani. Journal of Urban Planning and Development, p.07016001.

Gold, S. and Seuring, S., 2011. Supply chain and logistics issues of bio-energy production. Journal of Cleaner Production, 19(1), pp.32-42.

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Guang Shi, V., Lenny Koh, S.C., Baldwin, J. and Cucchiella, F., 2012. Natural resource based green supply chain management. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 17(1), pp.54-67.

Keshavarzian, M., Anaraki, S.K., Zamani, M. and Erfanifard, A., 2012. Projections of oil demand in road transportation sector on the basis of vehicle ownership projections, worldwide: 1972–2020. Economic Modelling, 29(5), pp.1979-1985.

Lin, R.J., 2013. Using fuzzy DEMATEL to evaluate the green supply chain management practices. Journal of Cleaner Production, 40, pp.32-39.

Salvi, B.L., Subramanian, K.A. and Panwar, N.L., 2013. Alternative fuels for transportation vehicles: a technical review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 25, pp.404-419.

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Sarkis, J., Zhu, Q. and Lai, K.H., 2011. An organizational theoretic review of green supply chain management literature. International Journal of Production Economics, 130(1), pp.1-15.

Seuring, S., 2013. A review of modeling approaches for sustainable supply chain management. Decision support systems, 54(4), pp.1513-1520.

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