VENDELA SANTÉN AND SÖNKE BEHRENDS, CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SWEDEN
Abstract: Sustainability includes a variety of aspects, e.g., environment, economy and society, related to each other in different ways. Most studies concerning sustainable logistics do not reflect these relations, since they deal with one issue at a time (e.g., CO2 – emissions or congestion), have a short- and medium time perspective, and seldom take into account impacts on other systems, e.g., energy or land-use systems. In order to develop long-term strategies towards sustainable logistics, actors in the logistics system require knowledge about the complexity of the problem and the interdependencies of their actions. Hence, there is a need for a holistic framework for sustainable logistics including all aspects of sustainability, the relevant logistics actions as well as their interdependencies. This paper takes a first step towards developing such a holistic framework. The suggested framework includes the relations between decision areas in material and transport level at one hand and the logistical and environmental sustainability goals at the other. The authors argue that decisions in the transport level have a direct affect to both logistical and environmental goals, while material flow decisions are of major concern for logistical goals. Furthermore, logistics systems that integrate material flow and transport flow decision making will be more successful in meeting logistical and environmental goals, thus leading to more sustainable logistics. In order to identify more sustainable logistics solutions, there must be a raised awareness about the key factors linking decision areas and performances.
Keywords: sustainable logistics; holistic view; framework