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Sustainable Operations and Closed-Loop Supply Chains

Book Description

This book was written for any company or organization that needs detailed guidance on the journey towards sustainability, starting from zero. And if your firm wants to be sustainable, you know you have to consider the triple bottom line when making decisions: economic (profit), environmental (planet), and social (people). By focusing on the triple bottom line (3Ps), your firm can be assured of a steady supply of inputs such as raw materials and labor. Author Souza carefully explains the first step towards sustainability, which is aimed at reducing waste in operations, with the help of such tools as lean and Six Sigma. He will also help guide your firm through a “life cycle assessment” (LCA) for each of the main products and processes. LCA is a methodology designed to assess the environmental impact (such as energy consumption, and toxicity) of a product or process through its life cycle: raw material extraction, transportation, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, use by consumers, and end-of-life. The final step in the journey towards sustainability is to close the loop. To close the loop, you’ll learn about designing efficient packaging, designing products for multiple life cycles (as in design for remanufacturing), or designing products according to a Cradle to Cradle® philosophy, which ensures no use of toxic materials, ease of disassembly, and 100% up-cyclability. The book concludes with the “final P” of sustainability—people, with some examples of firms that invest heavily in the social bottom line.