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Verena Depping (Technical University of Munich); Martin Grunow (TUM School of Management); Bryndis Stefansdottir (Technical University of Munich)
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9 pages
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Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in operations and supply chain management. This case focuses on quantifying environmental impacts as well as on integrating environmental sustainability in modeling approaches for operations and supply chain management. The case provides a detailed description of the supply chain of a mid-sized German dairy company. While the company mainly produces organic infant formula, decision makers are currently evaluating a switch from skim-milk powders to novel skim-milk concentrates when processing additional raw-milk supplies. Since sustainability lately has become more important to the dairy company, the choice between these options has to be made from both an economic and an environmental perspective. The case is based on a recent interdisciplinary research project at the Technical University of Munich and provides data on the production of skim-milk concentrate and on environmentally-relevant consumptions and emissions. Students will become acquainted with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - one of the most commonly used quantitative tools for the systematic evaluation of environmental impacts. Moreover, environmental and economic impacts have to be considered jointly. For this purpose, students may conduct break-even analyses and potentially develop a mathematical-programming-based multi-objective optimization model. The choice of analyses depends on the target group.

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This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.


Sustainability; Quantitative environmental assessment; Life Cycle Assessment (LCA); Energy consumption; Supply chain; Optimisation; Multi-objective modeling; Food; Dairy products; Product development


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