IBM today unveiled a tool designed to allow firms to calculate and reduce costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in their supply chains, leading to reduced environmental impact and greater efficiency.
Supply Chain Network Optimisation Workbench (Snow) uses mathematical algorithms to delve deeper into a company's overall supply chain logistics, ultimately helping clients take stock of their various distribution centres, according to IBM.
This, in turn, allows for decisions to be made over whether a firm should carry out its own manufacturing, or choose to go through a third party instead.
By reducing the amount of energy a company uses in transportation and logistics, IBM claims that costs and carbon emissions are immediately cut.
Snow was developed by IBM's China Research Laboratory and is designed to analyse five major logistics areas: product, sourcing, production, warehousing and transportation/distribution.
The tool is able to evaluate the impact of CO2 emissions of materials used in products, and can suggest cheaper and cleaner alternatives.
It can also calculate the various impacts of CO2 emissions by supplier, determine the amount of CO2 emissions created by a specific manufacturing process, consider storage requirements, and analyse varying CO2 emission levels by mode of transportation and shipment size.
Snow joins a host of other products offered by the firm to help clients with corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues, including Carbon Tradeoff Modeler, CSR Assessment and Benchmarking Utility, Green Sigma and Environmental Product Lifecycle Management.
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