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462 - Sustainable Supply Chain Management

Core/Elective: Elective
Credits: 1.0
Quarter Taught: Winter



This course will examine the intersection of sustainability and supply chains as an opportunity to develop more resilient and impactful integrated frameworks. These frameworks will provide a tool kit to support and enhance supply chain strategies and identify new opportunities and risks. It will explore various industries and ‘big issues’ that impact the various supply chains in common and unique ways.  

 This will culminate in 1) the development of a central ‘issue/industry matrix/toolkit to help guide assessment and decision-making in the future as well as 2) developing skills to consistently deliver “2-Pager Executive Proposals” as part of the assignments and final paper. While the course will start with conventional theory and supply-chain design principles, the remainder of the course will have a heavy emphasis on practitioner experience, perspectives, and best practices. This will include but not be limited to exploring how COVID and other recent macro events have challenged traditional supply chain management, how the rise of ESG and “Net Zero” climate commitments influence behaviors and other emerging future trends. 

The course will emphasize qualitative processes and metrics to evaluate; how to 1) evaluate situations from varying perspectives, 2) construct holistic integrated proposals and 3) how to influence and implement strategies. Students will have regular reading assignments outside of class and should come to class prepared for discussion. As a part of the class, we will have a series of guest lectures from industry experts/practitioners on various aspects of supply chains. Student presence is expected and active participation is encouraged at all times. Readings are liable to be added mid-quarter, especially for weeks containing guest lectures. 



Course Objectives:


  • Defining Sustainability - Define sustainability and resiliency as a foundational concept for supply chains and how it is being discussed in business and society. 
  • Supply Chain Basics: Learn standard supply chain theory, organization, and design practices in order to apply these to the supply chains of the future. 
  • From “Just In Time” Supply Chains to “Next Generation” Supply Chains – Deeper dive on how sustainability and resiliency concepts will be part of next generation supply chain management in light of the unprecedented global interruptions, impacts (COVID, global conflict, etc.) 
Core Concepts 
  • Supply Chains Are Not All Equal: Develop an understanding of supply chains in different industries to assess different characteristics and more effectively apply integrated sustainability methods and strategies.   
  • The Big Issues: Better understand the pressing sustainability issues for supply chains and how they apply to different industries and their respective supply chains. 
Future Trends 
  • Supply Chains Moving Forward: Students will learn about collaborative strategies, emerging policy frameworks and other future trends to be aware of in supply chains.