CORAL Seminar: An optimization framework for global supply chain sustainability applied to the European automotive industry

Speaker: Hans-Otto Günther, Department of Production Management, TU Berlin

Info about event


Monday 22 October 2012,  at 14:00 - 15:00


Fuglesangs Allé 4, 8210 Aarhus V, room 2628(M)-323


Sin C. Ho


The automotive sector is a key industry exposed to sustainability challenges such as climate change or limited resources. Reduction of greenhouse gas emission is an important task in the supply chain when making the vehicles as well when using them by the customers. Reducing, reusing and recycling of raw materials and components become further increasingly important tasks also in the context of transformation towards electric vehicles relying on rare raw and precious materials such as lithium. The goal of the study is to investigate the transformation of the automotive supply chains from a European perspective with consideration of sustainability objectives.

We propose an integrated long-term network design optimization model towards 2030 that considers cost and emission structures of the industry in production, logistics and transportation and closed-loop recycling processes as well as vehicle-usage from end-to-end. We also simulate scenarios for external drivers such as potential policy regulations of carbon taxes and carbon caps, scenarios on electric vehicle market demand and their transformation impact on the industry. Next to the sustainability optimization framework, we compare alternative optimization approaches ranging from multi-objective trade-off optimization to new “minimize time-to-sustainability” approaches. As a result, the proposed model can be an important framework and tool for companies and policy decision makers to simulate the long-term impact of policy instruments and external drivers on automotive industry structures.



Hans-Otto Günther is professor (Chair) of Production Management at TU Berlin, Germany, since 1993. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management, TU Berlin, from 2001 to 2003. Before that he has held professorships at several universities in Germany and Austria, and was visiting professor at universities in Asia and the Pacific.

He published numerous research papers in international journals in the area of Industrial Engineering, Operations Research and Production Management, and 18 editions of textbooks on Production and Logistics. Currently, he is Editor-in-Chief of the ”Flexible Services and Manufacturing” (FSM) Journal and on the editorial board of several other international journals. From 2001-2007 he was the Managing Editor of the journal “OR Spectrum”.

His current interests are on sustainable supply chain management, production scheduling in process and automotive industry, container terminal logistics, and transportation planning.

Organizer: Sin C. Ho