Supply chain risk management (SCRM) is a process for systematically identifying, analyzing, assessing various risks that can affect supply chains, formulating, executing, and continuously managing strategies and measures to mitigate risks. In this article, a fundamental concept of SCRM and noteworthy supply chain risks, including natural disasters, political and geopolitical risks, information security, exhaustible resources and conflict minerals, environmental and human rights issues, are introduced. In addition, the concept of resilience that is significant in practicing SCRM, as well as essential elements for systematic and continuous practices of SCRM, are discussed. Moreover, a framework of SCRM construction is explained from basic policy formulation and present state analysis, through risk strategy development, monitoring, detection and response plan, to implementation, operation and improvement.
Against a backdrop of various unprecedented affairs associated with energy, such as shale gas revolution, historic collapse in oil prices, and rapid penetration of renewable energy to cope with the climate change issue, the world is now in the midst of “energy transition” in which the energy demand-supply structure drastically changes. In the industrial revolution back in the 18th century, the invention of the steam engine with coal as an energy source made productivity of the society exponentially increase. Subsequently, the emergence of fossil oil, which is more convenient than coal, stimulated the energy transition which replaced coal in the middle of the 20th century, and largely affected the world’s industry and economy as well as lifestyles. This article reveals the real picture of the recent movement of energy transition that is currently re-emerging, and analyzes the risks which the energy transition poses to Japan.
A lot of resources have been expended in response to disasters and accidents in the name of recurrence prevention. There has been always too much focus on what have occurred, not what will occur next. The objective of this article is to show the ideas and tools necessary for addressing risks to the whole society by prioritizing them based on the level of each risk. Before everything, the word “safety” should be defined as “freedom from risk which is not tolerable”. From this practical definition, it is easily understood that safety cannot be attained only by conventional science. Regulatory science has to be developed to bridge the gap between conventional science and policy. In order to determine the policy, multiple options should be assessed using various types of Impact Assessment, including regulatory impact assessment and privacy impact assessment. These ideas and tools should be integrated into decision making process effectively.
The demand for social LCA is increasing as the need to quantify sustainability is required more and more in movements such as SDGs, ESG, and various non-financial information reporting standards. In this paper, we explain the outline of social hotspot analysis that is a method to screen and evaluate a wide range of social indicators at once. We also summarize the structure of the social LCA databases used for these assessments, the aim and constitution of impact assessment methods, and how to interpret the calculation results, as well as the various limits, and outlooks of this type of analysis.
Against the backdrop of increasing globalization and complexity of supply chains, as well as supply chain disruptions triggered by the recent natural disasters, supply chain risk management (SCRM) has become increasingly significant, and scientific contributions including LCA studies to SCRM are expected. In this article, we review studies associated with supply chain risks in which LCA researchers played central roles: i.e., a series of studies that aim to integrate geopolitical-related supply risk within the life cycle sustainability assessment framework; quantification of supply risks of metal resources based on a multiregional input–output model; and vulnerability assessment of supply chains using the life cycle inventory database. We then examine the scientific contributions and limitations of those studies and discuss the future development of the approaches to SCRM.
In the recently proposed integrated approach for designing the entire agro-industrial process, there has been a lack of consideration on interannual meteorological variability consequences on production for particular plant cultivars/varieties grown at a specific region. In this study, we discuss how this shortcoming influences the simulation of productivity and GHG emission using a case study on two sugarcane cultivars and their processing system producing raw sugar and bioethanol. We also explore if consideration of interannual weather variability is possible by widely available meteorological data. From the results, we confirmed that it was possible to construct a modified multiple linear regression model that reflect the interannual variability of meteorological conditions from commonly available data sets without any additional data collection requirement, and that the productivity and GHG emission results derived by the simulation with and without such enhancement may disagree in some cases.
Nitrogen used for economic activities initially takes the form of ammonia, and is ever-present in our daily lives, not only as fertilizers, but through its role in chemical products such as synthetic chemical fibers, resins, semiconductors, and more. The purpose of this study is to understand the changes in demand accompanying future economic change by organizing trends in, and characteristics of the demand for reactive nitrogen (Nr), especially nitrogen fixed as ammonia (NH3-N), demand in Japan. Material flow analysis (MFA) was used to quantify and simultaneously analyze changes over time of the flow of Nr and NH3-N in Japan. The results showed that, in 2005 and 2015, the Nr flows from food & feed to house hold use were 898 kt-N and 775 kt-N; the flows from the chemical industry to fertilizers were 632 kt-N and 500 kt-N; and the recoveries from sewage sludge to fertilizer were 28.6 kt-N and 68.3 kt-N, respectively. The Nr (or NH3-N) flows related to food & feed, the chemical industry, and fertilizers decreased from 2005 to 2015 (food & feed: 13%, chemical industry: 26%, fertilizer: 7%). In spite of the downturn in Nr demand in the chemical industry, industrial usage (e.g., chemical products) still accounts for more than 50% of the NH3-N demand (623 to 884 kt-N) in Japan, much higher than its global share (20%). Interestingly, the NH3-N flow to the semiconductor industry accounted for 0.21%, 0.57% and 1.03% of the industrial use in 2005, 2011 and 2015 respectively. In the future, management and conservation of NH3-N will be even more essential in controlling Nr and NH3-N flow.