Sheffield-KTNIn a globalised world supply chains are increasingly complex and interconnected. A few years ago MIT launched a free visualisation tool to document how supply chains crisscross the globe.

The Megacities Logistics Lab has since broadened its scope to cover all manner of supply chain issues, including of course, the sustainability of supply chains.

Not to be left behind, we have teamed up with Microsoft to create an innovative new tool to help organisations to reduce the environmental impact of their supply chains.

The tool, called SCEnAT+, was created in conjunction with the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in France later this year, where nations will be reminded of the urgent need to tackle CO2 emissions.

Sustainable supply chains

The tool has already been implemented in a number of organisations to try and reduce their CO2 emissions, whilst also improving the efficiency of their supply chains. The tool analyses their operations and produces a carbon ‘heat map’, before then suggesting various improvements that could be made to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment.

What’s more, companies can undertake life cycle analysis and supply chain benchmarking to gain a better understanding of their supply chain and ensure it is as optimal as possible, both for the environment and their balance sheet.

The project is also a strong indicator of the collaborative opportunities of working with an organisation such as Microsoft.

Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre, said: “Microsoft’s Futures programme is the ideal platform for us to base the SCEnAT+ on as it will enable its scalability, interoperability and reconfigurability.

“We look forward to working with Microsoft on further new developments in the future. Our goal is embedding sustainability conditions in all decision making across supply chains around the world.”

Mike Davies, Head of Higher Education Business from Microsoft UK, said: “We are pleased to announce this new partnership with the University of Sheffield and its Advanced Resource Efficiency Centre.

“The SCEnAT+ has the ability to provide great benefits to organisations in reducing the cost and environmental impact of their supply chains, and it also showcases the abilities of our Cloud services.”

Dr Kenji Takeda, Solutions Architect and Technical Manager from Microsoft Research, added: “The future of research collaboration will be accelerated via Azure Research and Azure Marketplace which provide a rapid innovation environment supported by Cloud technology. SCEnAT+ technology is based on Azure infrastructure. We are looking forward to our next phase of collaboration with the University of Sheffield.”