Publication Date
Authored by
Pranav Prakash, Shah Akibur Rahman
Advisor(s): Jarrod Goentzel
Topic(s) Covered:
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), home to almost 27,000 students and staff with almost 400 departments, labs and centers, has a largely decentralized procurement system and informal reverse logistics flow or cost rebate programs for office supplies. Building on the success of the centralized procurement process for personnel protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, this capstone explores the feasibility of a consolidated office supplies procurement process and options for take-back schemes in the form of reverse logistics in order to support the MIT Climate Action Plan of net zero carbon emission by 2026. In order to achieve these key objectives, initially we mapped out the entire demand driven delivery process and order fulfillment at MIT to identify opportunities. Next, using historical purchase data of top purchased products on campus we designed and proposed an office supply stockroom model that could be located at the distributed mail centers or other shared locations. These locations could also serve as a drop off point for used office supplies to be picked up for recycling. Qualitative data has been collected in the form of user surveys and interviews to gauge user perception, knowledge and readiness towards making sustainable choices. Finally, by linking the forward and reverse logistics flows, the project frames the circular supply chain that is enabled by the stockroom model to increase sustainable purchasing and reduce waste and cost for the institution.

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