Use of EPIs in supply chain communication
The aim of this strategy is to enhance communication of environmental
requirements and performance in the supply chain. The strategy is based on an
example from the railway industry and it is documented by Industrial Environmental Informatics at Chalmers
University of Technology.
This strategy describes how environmental requirements and targets can
be communicated between different companies in the supply chain, and how the fulfillment of these
requirements and targets later can be verified.
Figure Communication of environmental performance in the supply chain
The strategy enhances the communication of environmental requirements and
performance between different companies in the supply-chain (see figure above). Furthermore, it
effectively provides the important connection between market requirements and
the product design. The communication is based on quantifiable and measurable
Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs).
EPIs are quantitative expressions of the environmental performance. When introducing environmental issues into business relations
it is crucial that the customer and the supplier have the same understanding of requirements and
performance. This strategy describes how a common language can be established and
utilized in the communication between different companies in the supply chain.
The context in which this strategy was developed and implemented is described
in the R&D strategy
Design for Environment. This other strategy
describes how a design for environment process can be implemented and used
within a company, to verify that the requirements and targets which are
communicated in the supply chain are fulfilled in the product development
Intended users and benefits
The intended users of the strategy are persons involved in the purchasing
process. By using this strategy any manufacturer can communicate environmental
requirements and targets to their suppliers. The suppliers can
calculate the actual environmental performance in terms of the defined EPIs and
communicate the results back to the manufacturers. The suppliers can also
utilize the same language when communicating environmental performance with
their sub-suppliers, and the manufacturers can use the language when
communicating with their customers. Hence, the whole manufacturing company can benefit from the
result of working according to the strategy since the product will most likely
better fulfill their stakeholders' environmental requirements.