This article reports on research toward a pragmatic and credible means for analyzing, mapping, and managing environmental impacts along supply chains. The results of this research include a management tool called "ecological supply chain analysis" (EcoSCAn) that is presented here for the first time. Its structure bears a passing resemblance to that used in some streamlined life-cycle assessments, but its operation and purpose are quite different. The EcoSCAn tool frames a comparative environmental analysis of products capable of performing broadly equivalent functions. The analysis occurs over complete extended supply chains and within defined supply chain stages at a product level and, to some extent, at a site level. The results are mapped with data confidence indicators. A range of tactical and, where data quality is sufficient, strategic supply chain actions are prompted. Actions to mitigate environmental stress are possible in the absence of good quality data across entire product life cycles, although the extent to which management actions are limited is made plain.
- Environmental impacts mapping
- Greening the supply chain
- Integrated chain management (ICM)
- Strategic management
- Streamlined life-cycle assessment (SLCA)