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Department of Engineering

Implication of Climate Change on Global Supply Networks

Implication of Climate Change on Global Supply Networks

Principal Investigator: Professor Sir Mike Gregory

This project explores implications of climate change on global supply network, which includes raw materials, platform, facilities including plant and geographical locations, product, employees, customers and supporting infrastructure. The effects of climate change and a greater prevalence of associated extreme events need to be included into supply network design for resilience. By integrating climate forecast scenarios provided by scientific research with supply network configuration theories, a conceptual framework will be proposed for systematically identify and manage key sources of climatic risks in global supply network. With a better understanding of the risks from climate change, manufacturers can develop capabilities to avoid collapse, minimize discontinuities or even advance comparative advantage.

Scientific findings predict that human induced climate change and global warming will bring about large scale environmental changes such as sea-level rise and flooding, extreme weather events, and heat waves with potential catastrophic consequences to industries and society. At the same time multinational organisations are becoming increasingly lean with high automation and dispersed physical capital. Supply networks are also becoming more geographically fragmented leading to reduced end-to-end visibility. Current management and adaptation strategies have largely excluded drastic changes in the natural environment from their approaches and communication with the scientific community has been limited.

It aims to propose a framework for supply network climatic risk identification, which includes sources of risk, configuration vulnerability and likely impacts in order to improve the understanding of the implications from climate change on supply network networks.