A methodology for assessing eco-efficiency in logistics networks

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By J. Quariguasi Frota Neto, G. Walther, J. Bloemhof, J.A.E.E. van Nunen,T. Spengler


Recent literature on sustainable logistics networks points to two important questions: (i) How to spot the preferred solution(s) bal- ancing environmental and business concerns? (ii) How to improve the understanding of the trade-offs between these two dimensions? We posit that a visual exploration of the efficient frontier and trade-offs between profitability and environmental impacts are particularly suitable to answer these two questions. The visual representation of the efficient frontier, however, presents two challenges. The first is to obtain a good approximation for such frontier without enumerating all extreme efficient solutions. The second is to obtain a good visual representation of the efficient frontier. We propose a two-phased heuristic to handle these two problems. The algorithm is designed for the multi-objective linear problem with three objectives: minimize costs, cumulative energy demand and waste in a reverse logistics network. We illustrate our approach by designing a complex recycling logistics network in Germany.

Link to material: http://ifors.org/developing_countries/downloads/sept2_2011/Quariguasi-Frota-Neto_2009_European-Journal-of-Operational-Research.pdf