Case Study Reclaimed the Greener Way: A Proposed Supply Chain Model for the Reclaimed Lumber Industry

Case Study Reclaimed the Greener Way: A Proposed Supply Chain Model for the Reclaimed Lumber Industry

John Kaliski (Minnesota State University, USA) and Queen Booker (Minnesota State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jsesd.2010100105
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Abstract

Thanks to the strategic priorities of the current federal administration, discussions about green management are a popular trend in the business community. Increasing efficiency, limiting energy consumption, and reducing waste internally as well as along the supply chain has been one way that managers have addressed “going green.” Some examples include front-to-back printing and stringent recycling efforts. For the lumber industry, going green is not as easy as changing how employees print or recycle plastic bottles, especially since one of the main resources in the lumber industry is wood. In this regard, the authors discuss a proposed supply chain model to reduce intra-process shipments, improve raw material acquisition and usage, and improve production yields through repurposing of the wood by-product created during the manufacture of reclaimed, wood-based products. The proposed model also suggests that entrepreneurial efforts could lead the way in innovating how wood by-products can be used to create disruptive methods that could lead to new wood based businesses.
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Introduction

OurEarth.org suggests ten easy ways to go green. Their advice is simple: reduce, turn off electronics not in use, recycle, use florescent light bulbs, fix leaks, buy recycled, turn off computers, properly dispose of hazardous waste, and buy fresh and local organic vegetables. These are acceptable practices for homes or businesses at the end of the supply chain such as retailers. But as we move up the supply chain the conversation changes, particularly with the basic producers, converters and fabricators. For example, for a cotton producer to “go green,” they must consider alternative ways to use all of the cotton including the hull and the seeds. Some examples of how the cotton producers have dealt with this can be found at www.runthemill.com). The company operates with an objective to reduce wood that finds its way into the landfills. They have done so for 10 years for “new wood”; producing hardwood lumber, flooring, beams, etc from trees that died from natural causes such as disease and storm damage. Recently the company has added reclaimed lumber products as a means of simultaneously increasing their markets and being more eco-friendly. While they currently focus on milling, the owner is always looking for ideas to streamline the manufacturing process and to reduce the overall waste of wood including within the industry.

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