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October 6, 2009 / or4green

References: Wine, Urban Planning, Freight GHG’s

The energy and carbon intensity of wine distribution: A study of logistical options for delivering wine to consumers by Susan Cholette & Kumar Venkat in Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 17, Issue 16, November 2009, Pages 1401-1413. (pdf of the paper).
If you buy wine you might have noticed that some wineries have begun using plastic bottles to cut freight costs along with emissions. This paper takes a close look at the wine delivery supply chain from the energy-use and emissions perspective. The methodology is fairly straightforward and the scenarios considered seem to be well grounded in reality. One of the co-authors (Venkat) is from a company called CleanMetrics whose motto is “the science of measuring and improving sustainability”. CleanMetrics also has a blog entitled “Green Metrics, Clean Metrics“; carbon footprinting seems to be a frequent topic.

(Speaking of wine and O.R., there was a nice article in Interfaces a couple of years ago about using a mixed IP to match small wineries with distributors. The testimonial at the end from the small vintner was compelling. Also, there was a brief mention of using O.R. to optimize wine grape growing in a recent OR/MS Today rountable piece featuring (SE CT neighbor) Applied Math Inc.)

A Mass Transportation Model for the Optimal Planning of an Urban Region, by Giuseppe Buttazzo and Filippo Santambrogio in SIAM Review, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp. 593-610 (2009).
What we would call the decision variables are probability measures describing how inhabitants and services are distributed. The objective is a cost function of the aforementioned variables with terms for transportation costs from residential to service areas, population density and service concentration. It is a fairly theoretical paper, with admittedly limited applicability. It was in the “SIGEST” section of the journal, which “highlights a recent paper from one of SIAM’s eleven specialized research journals, chosen on the basis of exceptional interest to the entire SIAM community and revised and condensed as needed for greater accessibility.”

An integer programming model for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in intermodal freight transport by Bauer, J., Bektas, T. and Crainic, T.G., in Journal of the Operational Research Society, advance online publication 23 September 2009; doi: 10.1057/jors.2009.102
A piece of the abstract:

Traditional planning methods for scheduling a service network usually focus on minimizing travel or time-related costs of transport. This paper breaks away from such an approach by first addressing the issue of incorporating environment-related costs (greenhouse gases, to be specific) into freight transportation planning…

So that is a different prioritization and definitely a reflection of the times. Computational results and a potential application are presented.

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