HOW TO DESIGN AND PLAN SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAINS THROUGH OPTIMIZATION MODELS?

ABSTRACT Sustainable Supply Chain is nowadays an increasing area of concern for both academia and industry that aims to design, plan and operate supply chains that guarantee market needs while considering not only profit objectives but also environmental and social concerns in a solution of compromise. Being supply chains complex systems the pursuing of such compromise solution calls for the use of decision tools that can support decision makers. Such tools should be based on quantitative models where Operational Research (OR) methods ought to be explored and where optimization, in particular, has a role to play. In this paper, the main characteristics of such optimization models, focusing on the design and planning of sustainable supply chains are discussed and the main issues to be considered when addressing such problems are identified. A framework, SusFrame, developed to guide practitioners and researchers in the development of optimization models for the design and planning of sustainable supply chains, is presented and applied to the solution of a set of case-studies, demonstrating the large applicability of such tool and how optimization methods can be used to help the sustainable supply chain decision process.