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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Gokhan Egilmez, N. Muhammad Aslaam Mohamed Abdul Ghani and Ridvan Gedik

Carbon footprint assessment requires a holistic approach, where all possible lifecycle stages of products from raw material extraction to the end of life are considered…

Abstract

Purpose

Carbon footprint assessment requires a holistic approach, where all possible lifecycle stages of products from raw material extraction to the end of life are considered. The purpose of this paper is to develop an analytical sustainability assessment framework to assess the carbon footprint of US economic supply chains from two perspectives: supply chain layers (tiers) and carbon footprint sources.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology consists of two phases. In the first phase, the data were collected from EORA input output and environmental impact assessment database. In the second phase, 48 input-output-based lifecycle assessment models were developed (seven CO2 sources and total CO2 impact, and six supply chain tiers). In the third phase, the results are analyzed by using data visualization, data analytics, and statistical approaches in order to identify the heavy carbon emitter industries and their percentage shares in the supply chains by each layer and the CO2 source.

Findings

Vast majority of carbon footprint was found to be attributed to the power generation, petroleum refineries, used and secondhand goods, natural gas distribution, scrap, and truck transportation. These industries dominated the entire supply chain structure and found to be the top drivers in all six layers.

Practical implications

This study decomposes the sources of the total carbon footprint of US economic supply chains into six layers and assesses the percentage contribution of each sector in each layer. Thus, it paves the way for quantifying the carbon footprint of each layer in today’s complex supply chain structure and highlights the importance of handling CO2 source in each layer separately while maintaining a holistic focus on the overall carbon footprint impacts in the big picture. In practice, one size fits all type of policy making may not be as effective as it could be expected.

Originality/value

This paper provides a two-dimensional viewpoint for tracing/analyzing carbon footprint across a national economy. In the first dimension, the national economic system is divided into six layers. In the second dimension, carbon footprint analysis is performed considering specific CO2 sources, including energy production, solvent, cement and minerals, agricultural burning, natural decay, and waste. Thus, this paper contributes to the state-of-art sustainability assessment by providing a comprehensive overview of CO2 sources in the US economic supply chains.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

N. Muhammad Aslaam Mohamed Abdul Ghani, Gokhan Egilmez, Murat Kucukvar and M. Khurrum S. Bhutta

The purpose of this paper is to focus on tracing GHG emissions across the supply chain industries associated with the US residential, commercial and industrial building…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on tracing GHG emissions across the supply chain industries associated with the US residential, commercial and industrial building stock and provides optimized GHG reduction policy plans for sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-step hierarchical approach is developed. First, Economic Input-Output-based Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) is utilized to quantify the GHG emissions associated with the US residential, commercial and industrial building stock. Second, a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) based optimization framework is developed to identify the optimal GHG emissions’ reduction (percent) for each industry across the supply chain network of the US economy.

Findings

The results indicated that “ready-mix concrete manufacturing”, “electric power generation, transmission and distribution” and “lighting fixture manufacturing” sectors were found to be the main culprits in the GHG emissions’ stock. Additionally, the majorly responsible industries in the supply chains of each building construction categories were also highlighted as the hot-spots in the supply chains with respect to the GHG emission reduction (percent) requirements.

Practical implications

The decision making in terms of construction-related expenses and energy use options have considerable impacts across the supply chains. Therefore, regulations and actions should be re-organized around the systematic understanding considering the principles of “circular economy” within the context of sustainable development.

Originality/value

Although the literature is abundant with works that address quantifying environmental impacts of building structures, environmental life cycle impact-based optimization methods are scarce. This paper successfully fills this gap by integrating EIO-LCA and MILP frameworks to identify the most pollutant industries in the supply chains of building structures.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

Keywords

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