Evaluating the Environmental Impact of a Product : Partial Life Cycle Assessment
Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this research is to investigate how manufacturing organisations can decrease their environmental impact in the supply chain. To meet the purpose, two research questions were formulated: 1. How can a manufacturing organisation reduce its environmental impact caused by transportation? 2. How can a manufacturing organisation reduce its environmental impact caused by production? Method – To provide the opportunity to reach a conclusion and to create a basic understanding of the research area, a literature review was conducted, which formed the basis of the theoretical framework. Through a case study at a manufacturing organisation, interviews and document analyses were used as sources for empirical data. In order to develop solutions and recommendations, collected data and theoretical framework were analysed and discussed. Findings – The research findings indicate that there are several possible measures to implement to reduce an organisation's environmental impact in the supply chain. A decisive factor is creating a holistic and fundamental understanding of sustainability and enabling everyone involved to work according a common view and in the same direction. In addition, a requirement to pursue the same goal is that all stakeholders are involved where a prerequisite is a well-functioning internal communication. Implications – The research did not contribute to any new theories, but through the research analysis, statements and theories from previous research were strengthened. The research suggests actions that can be used for organisations to reduce their environmental impact, but also to increase the understanding of why actions should be implemented. Society has an important responsibility for motivating and provide conditions for manufacturing organisations to reduce their footprint. This research is considered to lead to an improved environment in the form of lower emission levels where both organisations and the entire community take responsibility for the planet. Limitations – The case study is designed as a single-case study which, from a validity perspective, is not considered as advantageous as a multiple case study because the results are difficult to generalize. In order to strengthen the study's reliability, several functional units and / or organisations could have been included in the study.
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