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Assessing the environmental impact of integrated inventory and warehouse management

Fichtinger, J., Ries, J.M., Grosse, E.H. & Baker, P. (2015). Assessing the environmental impact of integrated inventory and warehouse management. International Journal of Production Economics, 170(Part C), pp. 717-729. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2015.06.025


There has been considerable research on the environmental impact of supply chains but most of this has concentrated on the transport elements. The environmental impact of warehousing has received relatively little attention except within the context of distribution networks. A high proportion of total warehouse emissions emanate from heating, cooling, air conditioning and lighting and these aspects are largely related to warehouse size. This in turn is greatly influenced by inventory management, affecting stockholding levels, and warehouse design, affecting the footprint required for holding a given amount of stock. Other emissions, such as those caused by material handling equipment, are closely related to warehouse throughput and equipment choice. There is a substantial gap in the literature regarding this interaction between inventory and warehouse management and its environmental impact. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to filling this gap. Therefore, an integrated simulation model has been built to examine this interaction and the results highlight the key effects of inventory management on warehouse-related greenhouse gas emissions. In particular, it is found that decisions on supply lead times, reorder quantities, and storage equipment all have an impact on costs and emissions and therefore this integrated approach will inform practical decision making. Additionally, it is intended that the paper provides a framework for further research in this important area.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Warehousing; Warehouse operations; Materials handling; Inventory management; Environmental sustainability; Green warehousing; Carbon emission
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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