MIT Sustainable Supply Chain Lab

What are Sustainable Supply Chains?

Supply chains are a powerful mechanism for connecting people and products, providing a ready venue for industry and stakeholders to collaboratively advance the Sustainable Development Goals. As consumers, governments, and investors become increasingly conscious of environmental and social issues, many companies seek to address their concerns by reconsidering their supply chains.  But identifying, and more importantly, finding appropriate solutions for better and more sustainable systems proves challenging to most corporations that need to carefully balance competing business objectives and priorities.

The challenge

After the COVID-19 pandemic, and even before, the increase in logistics intensity due to e-commerce is pushing companies to offer faster and more frequent deliveries, which increases fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Currently, transportation is the industry that contributes the most to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States.


Contribution of Transportation to the total emissions of GHG in the US


Contribution of Transportation to the total emissions of GHG globally


Online shopping share in the total retail trade

Our mission

The MIT Sustainable Supply Chain Lab aims to support organizations to improve logistics and supply chain operations by creating applied and innovative research aimed at fostering growth while considering environmental and social sustainability. We connect research outcomes to practical settings, enabling companies and stakeholders to leverage supply chains as a beneficial force to reach global sustainable development goals. We also seek to improve the visibility of supply chain impacts and develop strategies to help reduce them, so companies can better address consumer, political, and shareholder concerns.

Current Research Initiatives

Sustainable Supply Chain engages in research with industry-leading companies, institutions and fellow academics.

Electrification of the Supply Chain

Consumer-faced logistics sustainability

Carbon Footprint

Sustainable Transportation

Circular Supply Chains

State of Supply Chain Sustainability

Sustainable Supply Chain Management Online Course

Transform your organization’s climate pledges into actionable strategies through better supply chain management. Modeled on our for-credit MIT course, SCM.290x provides the foundation for you to meet stakeholders’ demands for supply chain sustainability.

Stay connected to learn more about the next run of the course SCM.290x.

Our Research Partners

More Sustainable Research at MIT CTL

The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics has several Sustainable initiatives that aim to connect research outcomes to practical settings, enabling companies and stakeholders to leverage supply chains as a beneficial force to reaching sustainable development goals. 

Humanitarian Supply Chain Lab

MegaCity Logistics Lab

Sustainable Supply Chain Updates

Supply Chain Management for Micro and Small Firms in Latin America

In this chapter, we discuss the connection between MSEs’ productivity growth and SCM. We present key takeaways from the literature and summarized different research approaches used to study this emerging field, specifically related to the impact of the size of the company, the use of surveys to gather data, and the importance of field interventions.

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Driver Behavior Impact

Drivers play a leading role in the determination of fuel efficiency. Therefore this research aims to diagnose the key factors that influence the fuel consumption in heavy duty fleet. This project considers factors such as driver’s behavior, driving errors, driver’s...

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Bikesharing (BSS) Model for Urban Design

This study presents a methodology to face the challenges that cities face in selecting sustainable and cost-effective transportation modes, helping planners make choices that can be expressed not only in monetary terms but also in environmental benefits associated with...

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Optimal Fleet Composition

How do certain vehicles perform on given road & environmental conditions? Which vehicle characteristics have the biggest impact on CO2 emissions?

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Topography Vehicle Routing

How to improve routing transportation decisions? What is the effect of topography in routing decisions? When solutions affected by topography affect distance-min route  Davydov D., Velázquez-Martínez, J.C., Fransoo, J.C. (2018). “The impact of Topography on...

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