Commercial packaging and sustainability

This master thesis will be hosted by the Commercial packaging department within Volvo Group Service Market Logistics (SML). SML is the entity within Volvo Group responsible for spare parts supplies to the Group's customers as well as for designing, operating and optimizing logistics and supply chain for all brands, production facilities and distribution centers where the Volvo Group operates.


Background:
Packaging is not by definition a waste for us in SML, we need it to brand our parts and to protect against rust, scratching or other damages. However this is an area where we create tons of waste and therefore it is also our responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as we can. Creating and using sustainable packaging will have a drastic impact on our environmental footprint – we can truly make a difference in the health of the planet and the health of its people if we focus on delivering our parts in sustainable packaging. ​Working towards SML’s goal of being the world’s most truly sustainable service provider, delivering uptime through sustainable logistics offers and value driven performance we seek the help of Master Thesis student(s) during a 6 month period of time.


Thesis questions and expected deliverables:


Q1: Perform external benchmarks regarding which indexes exist to measure different packaging materials environmental footprint, with the support of our purchasing and environmental organizations. Perform external benchmark with other companies that packs many parts (in and outside our industry) to understand how they measure their environmental footprint from packaging materials.
Expected deliverable: Establish a PI and a process of how to be able to start measuring the environmental impact from our commercial packaging solutions. Define what is a ”Sustainable commercial packaging solution” by establishing a foundation for ranking different packaging materials from an environmental perspective (virgin cardboard, re-cycled cardboard, wood, bags out of different materials etc).


Q2: Focusing then on the warehouse to 3PL portion of the supply chain, develop a sustainability index or indicator comparing parts commercially packed by supplier vs in-house commercial packaging of the spare parts – normally performed by a 3PL. Example, handling parts at a 3rd party has certain environmental impacts considering additional transportation, handling, forklifting, energy at the 3PL to perform the work etc. Determine how to quantify and measure the positive environmental impact by not routing parts to a 3PL.
Expected deliverable: Develop a sustainability measurement tool to calculate the positive environmental impact from spare parts bypassing our 3PLs.


Q3: Through GEMBA find opportunities within our warehouses, with our dealers, or with our part suppliers where SML can employ sustainable packaging solutions.
Expected deliverable: Outline 3 key areas of opportunity and why, furthermore determine appropriate sustainable packaging solutions for each area. Connect each solution to the key principals of reduce, reuse and recycle.


Student profile:
We are looking for student(s) with knowledge and passion for sustainability questions in supply chain management. During the master thesis you will work with many internal stakeholders within Volvo Group but also need to reach out to external contacts as part of the benchmarking activities. Communication skills as well as the ability to analyze and interpret findings will be important factors as well as having a holistic mindset looking at the overall sustainability impact throughout the supply chain.


For further information, please contact:
Joel Larsson, Commercial Packaging Process & Best practice manager: +46313236569


About Us

The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines under the leading brands Volvo, Renault Trucks, Mack, UD Trucks, Eicher, SDLG, Terex Trucks, Prevost, Nova Bus, UD Bus and Volvo Penta.

Volvo Group Trucks Operations encompasses all production of the Group’s engines and transmissions, as well as all production of Volvo, Renault and Mack trucks. The organization is responsible for spare parts supplies to the Group's customers as well as for designing, operating and optimizing logistics and supply chain for all brands, production facilities and distribution centers where the Volvo Group operates. In Volvo Group Trucks Operations you will be part of a diverse team of highly skilled professionals who work with passion, trust and embrace change to stay ahead. We make our customers win.

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