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MIT-CTL and CSCMP announce conference on energy-efficient supply chain

The MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) will host a one-day conference, Achieving the Energy-Efficient Supply Chain, on April 30 in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

The conference will present experts from academia and industry who will explain the business implications of higher energy costs and what companies can do to build energy efficiency into their supply chains.

Historically, supply chain design and management have been predicated on the easy availability of cheap energy--even as globalization has stretched product pipelines thousands of miles from remote manufacturing centers to end markets. This is now changing, according to MIT-CTL Director Yossi Sheffi. "Rising fuel costs and the increasing volatility of energy markets mean that companies can no longer afford to ignore these costs. They need to reevaluate their supply chain strategies and network design to take into account the soaring cost of energy," Sheffi said.

Strategic re-evaluation is a major challenge for most organizations as the economics of energy consumption influence every facet of supply chain management, from sourcing to final delivery--which is why CSCMP President and CEO Rick Blasgen and his organization teamed up with MIT-CTL for this event. "A number of leading companies have started to redefine their supply chains to operate in an energy-constrained business environment," Blasgen observed, "but most are behind the curve. With this conference, we hope to help more companies begin developing energy-efficient supply chains."

Topics to be discussed will include how supply chains have evolved on the basis of cheap energy, measuring the carbon footprint, sourcing, manufacturing and distribution network design, and transportation and packaging.

Session leaders will include Mark Buckley, vice president for environmental affairs at Staples; Ernest Moniz, MIT professor of physics and director of the MIT Energy Initiative; and Kevin P. Wrenn, senior vice president for operations and quality at Fujitsu Computer Systems.

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A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 25, 2007 (download PDF).

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