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Modeling Sustainable Supply Chains using the OEPI Project

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Shaker Verlag


The relevance of Corporate Environmental Management Information Systems (CEMIS) is not limited anymore to the task of fulfilling legal requirements or providing annual sustainability reports. Current research trends in managing sustainability information tend to integrate these information back into corporate information systems (Meyerholt/Marx Gómez/Dada/Bremer/Rapp 2010). This offers unique possibilities to bring sustainability really into daily business process like production and procurement and to improve the overall sustainability performance of organizations. Managing sustainability information thereby extends its focus of being only a strategic tool right into the operative business. This can clearly been seen in the example of green product design, where environmental information is a crucial aspect. Especially larger companies need to consider more and more their whole supply chain in an inter- and intraorganiza-tional way when it comes to monitoring, capturing, managing and using sustainability information. For example the optimization of the supply chains at Wal-Mart provides great opportunities to improve the environmental performance and furthermore to save large amounts of money (Plambeck 2007). The business processes of a company therefore are clearly not limited anymore to the specific company but needs to address the whole supply chain. Most of the current CEMIS solutions do not provide the means of handling these information. The EU funded project “Organizational Environmental Performance Indicators” (http://www.oepi-project.eu/) provides a framework for managing key performance indicators in network-oriented approach and so allows to include companies across a whole supply chain to provide and manage their data. In this concept paper, the possible usage of OEPI’s concepts, data models and ontology for the task of modeling a sustainable supply chain is examined. Beginning with the foundations of sustainable supply chain management as well as OEPI’s approaches, a possible implementation of supply chain modeling using OEPI is presented. Shortcomings of the current OEPI framework are highlighted as well as the next steps in fulfilling the task.


Meyerholt, Daniel (2012): Modeling Sustainable Supply Chains using the OEPI Project. EnviroInfo Dessau 2012, Part 2: Open Data and Industrial Ecological Management. Aachen: Shaker Verlag. Sustainability and Environmental (Performance) Indicators. Dessau. 2012