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  • Post
    Decarbonization barrier upstream in the supply chain amongst lower-tier suppliers - A case study of the IT-services sector
    (2022) Shandilya, Rohan Sudhindra; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; Arvidsson, Ala; Arvidsson, Ala
    Global warming and climate change have emerged as one of the greatest threats for ecological balance. The increase in global carbon emissions is the main reason for climate change. To address this topic, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published comprehensive reports so that organizations can get a summary about the drivers of climate change, its impacts and reduction techniques. The latest report published in April stressed on the approach towards Carbon net zero to reduce the global greenhouse gas emissions if we must limit the earth’s temperature to 1.5°C. Carbon net zero is a holistic approach to reduction of carbon emission where all the actors in the supply chain are equally responsible for reducing their own carbon emissions. The IT services and consulting sector has a major contribution to the global carbon emissions since it works in synergy with other different carbon intensive sectors to run their operations. The current ESG policies include and govern suppliers who are responsible for the scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions that are a released into the atmosphere and are a part of the value chain of the company. Scope 3 emissions are significantly rising across the globe and has been a major concern threatening the climate goals and proving as a hinderance to achieve carbon net zero. Currently, the major portion of emissions in a company’s supply chain occurs at lower-tier suppliers who are located upstream in the supply chain. The lower-tier suppliers often lie outside the visibility horizon and are not aware of the sustainability requirements of the organizations. Even if they do have an understanding, they are SME’s and do not have the budget to take up sustainable practices. They are usually located in countries where the regulations are not strict. It is extremely important that lower-tier suppliers are aware of the sustainability requirements and their role in managing their sub-supplier sustainability is critical for supply chain decarbonization for achieving carbon net zero.
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    Digitalization of legal services A study of business models of legal lech companies digitalizing the legal industry
    (2022) Elkhalki, Radwan; Elkhalki, Nathalie; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics; Petrusson, Ulf; Heiden, Bowman
    The legal industry is still traditional and conservative where the lawyers typically charge by the hour (Simmons, 2015; Kronblad, 2019; 2021). But as society develops, so does the legal industry. We are moving from the lawyer’s market to the consumer market through digitalization where services within law are being more accessible and transparent. (Kronblad, 2019; 2021) With this study, the researchers aim to understand digitalization within contract law. That includes the business models that are being used, the main differences in how these services are being delivered and their different revenue models, and their strengths and weaknesses. To reach a satisfying result, the researchers have used a more overlooking review of twenty (20) different companies as well as a narrower review of five (5) different companies. Looking at the results, there are only a few revenue models that are being used such as subscriptions, freemium, and add-ons, and almost every company still uses hourly rates to some extent. The strengths and weaknesses are similar in all companies within the study, no matter which business model they are using. The strengths are increased scalability and competitive pricing for the companies and flexibility and ease for consumers, whereas weaknesses can be linked to difficulties to predict the amount of one-on-one help that is needed as well as the high amount of one-on-one help from lawyers that still is needed as well as lack of trust for the customer. The weaknesses are mainly connected to the insecurities on how much to charge, get people to try online services, and decrease the amount of help from lawyers.
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    How can IoT improve the value-creating landscape within the Nordic life science industry?
    (2022) Randelin, John; Wallin, Kristoffer; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Teigland, Robin; Kandaurova, Maria
    Internet of things (IoT) is currently driving a new age of digital innovations within life science by facilitating digital transformation and progressive care. However, the IoT technology is also associated with significant challenges for organizations. These challenges do pose a risk of negative impact on business, and severe complications for individuals and patients, if not understood and addressed properly. This study is examining the value-creating landscape within the Nordic life science industry, and how it is affected by IoT as an emergent technology. Previous research on the subject demonstrates a lack of empirical studies examining the Nordic market and calls for additional empirical examinations that can help explain IoT’s potential and implications on life science busi- nesses. We conducted a qualitative study based on interviews with experts in the field, focusing on two research questions. The first research question is examining social and economic value derived from IoT within the Nordic life science market, while the second research question targets challenges as- sociated with IoT within the Nordic life science market. Several opportunities for IoT to create social and economic value within life science have been identified. A selection of these includes improved diag- nostics, individualized care, knowledge about product usage, and decision support. Our findings do also affirm several challenges for the technology, where the main obstacles are found to be high regulatory demands and con- servatism within the life science industry. Additionally, technical challenges associated with the IoT technology such as connectivity and cyber security issues are also significant.
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    Environmental assessment of an upscaled production of macroalgae - A prospective Life Cycle Assessment of the Swedish production of Ulva fenestrata
    (2022) Gillgren, Jennifer; Winqvist, Jennie; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Svanström, Magdalena; Svanström, Magdalena
    Aquaculture, including macroalgae production, is one of the most rapidly growing economies worldwide. Off-shore cultivation of macroalgae, also known as seaweed, is a biomass production recognized to have significant potential as a sustainable food source and is also considered a suitable option for up-scaled production. Despite the acknowledged environmental and profitable benefits and potential of macroalgae production in Europe, there are still many existing knowledge gaps and challenges regarding the topic and mapping the environmental impacts of new potential blue foods is necessary. Therefore, this study investigates the environmental impacts of coastal (off-shore) seaweed production by conducting a prospective life cycle assessment (pLCA) on an initiated Swedish cultivation of the green macroalgae, Ulva fenestrata. The study also includes an upscaled future scenario to point out the potential environmental impacts and give insight into how the upcoming Swedish aquaculture practitioners could decrease the environmental impact of their systems. Additionally, life cycle assessment (LCA) lacks clear possibilities for including local marine environmental impacts. By conducting an exploratory literature search of the current state of knowledge regarding local impacts of seaweed cultivation, the thesis strives to holistically review the environmental impacts of the studied seaweed cultivation. Additionally, to find tools and methods for evaluating local environmental impacts and increase the knowledge about how to assess the environmental impacts both within and outside the scope of LCA. The study was divided into three main parts: The base scenario (using pLCA), future upscaled scenario (using pLCA) and local environmental impacts (using exploratory literature search). The data for the pLCA was mainly gathered from interviews, a study visit and contact with researchers and personnel at Nordic Seafarm, KTH and RISE. The pLCA was performed with Excel in combination with the LCA software SimaPro v. and information mostly from the databases EcoInvent v.3.8, Agribalyse 3.0.1 and Agrifootprint 5.0. For the future upscaled scenario information was based on the result of the base scenario, academic papers, and grey literature. Information for the exploratory research was collected from academic papers using databases Google Scholar and Scopus. The pLCA results show that dominant factors contributing to environmental impacts proved to be mainly the processes of spore preparation and cultivation, where the components: carrying line, screw anchors, anchor buoys and longlines were dominant. Additionally, diesel and gasoline had high impacts in most impact categories. The sensitivity analysis showed significant changes when investigating e.g., different seeding line options, weight of screw anchors and amount of biomass yield. Factors that contributed to a higher impact were the use of plastics and fossil fuels and the lifetime, volume and duration of the components used in the system. The future upscaled scenario yielded decreases in environmental impacts compared to the base scenario in most impact categories. From the exploratory literature search, several local impacts of upscaled aquaculture and seaweed farming, both positive and negative, that could affect local marine ecosystems were identified—for instance, carbon and nutrient uptake, shading, animal entanglement and seabed damage. Several ways of including local impacts into environmental evaluation exist, including specifically developed characterization factors, ecological risk assessments and specific methodological recommendations. However, further research is needed to find suitable ways to holistically include a broad spectrum of possible local impacts of upscaled seaweed cultivation.
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    Process Improvements to reduce carbon emissions-A Green Lean Six Sigma Approach
    (2022) Navaneet, Subbaram; Raghul, Subramanian; Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation; Bergman, Bo; Bergman, Bo
    In the current situation, carbon emissions are significantly contributing to climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and producing non-sustainable goods. Because of this, it is important to cut carbon emissions by minimizing waste and finding sustainable ways to distribute goods to clients. Reducing emissions also results in greener earth, more drought resilience, less climate change, and a safer environment. By doing away with waste in its operations and creating environmentally friendly ways to deliver its products to clients, the company studied in this thesis hopes to cut its transportation-related emissions by half by the year 2030. As a result, the goal of this thesis is to enhance the processes by lowering carbon emissions utilizing the green lean six sigma approaches. Understanding the process variations of late materials, 90-Kits, and poor quality which lead to a substantial quantity of carbon emissions in its operations is the focus of this master’s thesis. The authors apply a six-sigma methodology using a multi-phase DMAIC technique to pinpoint the bottlenecks that are responsible for process deviations such as delayed material, 90-Kits, and poor quality. It became clear that the forecasting and sourcing processes were important contributors to the process variations and rising emissions. To decrease process waste and improve accuracy and dependability, forecasting and sourcing models are also integrated. Additionally, a KPI dashboard was created to track the development of various KPIs, which is important for enhancing process performance and reducing or eliminating process variation by taking the appropriate steps when necessary. The final limitation of this study is that because the thesis is restricted to a single area of the supply chain, some of the conclusions cannot be generalized. As a next step to continue the thesis work, suggestions for future projects have also been offered.