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International experts shared knowledge on sustainable supply chains and green logistics at Uniandes

July 24, 2018


Published in General News

Universidad de los Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia, hosted the ninth International Conference on Production Research (ICPR) Americas, from July 17 to 19, 2018. Centered on the subject of Improving Supply Chain Management through Sustainability, it was the second time that this event was held in the country, in this occasion, under the leadership of Doctor Nubia Velasco, Professor of the School of Management of Uniandes. Throughout the meeting, more than 70 researchers and experts from several countries discussed over 100 academic papers on areas such as productivity, efficiency and sustainability, technology and innovation, lean manufacturing, quality and standards, Industry 4.0, supply chain management, energy management, inventory management, and logistics in a wide diversity of industries and economic activities, including agrifood supply chains, healthcare services, urban transportation systems, and even humanitarian endeavors. In addition, several projects on logistics management, supply chains and other pertinent areas, designed at Uniandes and other renowned academic institutions, were presented through poster exhibitions.


During the inaugural speech, Doctor Alan McKinnon, Professor of Kühne Logistics University, the world’s oldest logistics school, in Hamburg, Germany, described how, in the medium term, climate change would be one of the leading risk factors for logistics operations and supply chains worldwide. Consequently, logistics (from its infrastructure to its transportation options) is a “hot sector” for environmental decisions and policy-making aimed at reducing carbon emissions. For McKinnon, the so-called “green logistics” are posing great challenges to the new generations.

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In turn, Doctor Thomas J. Goldsby, Professor of Logistics at Ohio State University, in his presentation on Supply Chains 2.0, suggested combining the three, classic sustainability “Rs” of Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling with the Rs of Redesigning, Remanufacturing, and Recovering, which imply a greater development of inverse logistics. Moreover, he stated the importance of understanding sustainability –or the lack of it, that is– as a risk factor for companies, given that this view fosters decision making in search of given benefits. In addition, Goldsby proposed as research areas: the competition among industries and sectors based on sustainability; the links between sustainability and innovation; and the eco-efficient service to today’s “diabolical consumers” (i.e., demanding about products and processes).

During the closing session, Doctor Gonzalo Mejía, President of the ICPR Americas Chapter, praised the high quality of all presentations, and Professor Velasco announced the upcoming publication of a special edition of the Scopus indexed Supply Chain Forum journal with a selection of some of them.

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By carrying out this academic forum, Universidad de los Andes School of Management is confirming its commitment to environmental sustainability and that of supply chains –subjects to which a good number of its 76 full-time professors are devoted.

The tenth version of ICPR-Americas will take place in 2020.


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