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MIT's Center for Transportation & Logistics Announces new Environmental Performance Consortium at Annual Crossroads Conference

Major corporations to become inaugural members.

(PRWEB) February 17, 2010 -- The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) will launch the Global LEAP—Leaders in Environmental Assessment and Performance— research consortium at its annual Crossroads Conference on March 25, 2010, in Cambridge, MA. Chiquita Brands and Lockheed Martin are the first commercial organizations to sign up for this ground-breaking project to design supply chains that meet the sustainability goals that are redefining the way companies operate. Inaugural members have pledged comprehensive support for the new consortium including a financial commitment, in-kind resources, thought leadership, and active participation. MIT CTL is seeking more members.

MIT CTL teamed up with MIT’s Material Systems Lab (MSL) and Chiquita to create the LEAP concept. The consortium of top companies and experts in supply chain and the environment will address sustainability issues in relation to the key areas of energy, transportation, packaging/waste materials, natural resources, greenhouse gases, and water.

“We aim to understand how supply chains are going to change as they incorporate new perspectives on design and performance, specifically moving from traditional metrics of cost and service, into impact on the environment,” said Edgar Blanco, Research Director MIT CTL and Executive Director, MIT SCALE Latin America. "Those measures are not usually included in supply chain analysis but in the future we see a need for their inclusion, and the Global LEAP initiative is trying to give companies the right tools to do so successfully."

MIT CTL’s annual Crossroads conference is the ideal launching pad for the initiative because this year’s theme is Building Supply Chains that Deliver Sustainability. Business leaders and experts from supply chain and environmental management will convene at Crossroads 2010 to gain a deeper understanding of the strategies and tactics that both operations and environmental leaders must implement if their companies are to stay competitive in the face of emerging sustainability standards. The conference will address the crucial link between environmental track record and commercial success, with a focus on delivering sustainable business practices through optimized, environmentally sound supply chain management.

"As a founding member of Global LEAP we're delighted to enter into this strategic alliance with MIT CTL," said Waheed Zaman, Chiquita Senior Vice President for Product Supply. “Our initial partnership with MIT CTL on carbon footprint initiatives has already yielded tangible results and led to our 2009 Circle of Excellence Award from the Distribution Business Management Association. Since the early 1990s, Chiquita has been a leader in environmental sustainability efforts. This new consortium will further advance our efforts in this area and help develop carbon reduction strategies and methods for the end-to-end supply chain."

About the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.
For more than two decades the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics has been a world leader in supply chain management education and research. CTL has made significant contributions to supply chain logistics and helped numerous companies gain competitive advantage from its cutting edge research. Today, the rapidly evolving field of supply chain management has become more strategically important to companies, and CTL is expanding its portfolio of services to meet these new demands.

About the MIT Materials Systems Lab.
The Materials Systems Lab (MSL) studies the strategic implications of materials and materials processing choices. MSL works jointly with numerous corporate, government, academic and industrial consortia as research partners.

About LEAP.
The Global LEAP consortium will help maximize the benefits of members’ sustainability strategies. By combining the expertise of MIT CTL’s pioneering Carbon Efficient Supply Chains Project with the MSL’s deep understanding of Life-Cycle-Assessment methodologies, LEAP offers an unprecedented opportunity for fact-driven and solution-oriented analysis of products and their supply chains. LEAP will give companies the tools and information they need to measure their total environmental footprint, evaluate strategic environmental and operational trade-offs, and shape a sustainable action plan.

Members of the MIT Global LEAP consortium will be strategically positioned at the intersection of research in technology, business, and sustainability practices—and will be among the first in the world to benefit from the insights and innovations emerging from that research. For more information on joining LEAP, please contact Edgar Blanco at eblanco (at) mit (dot) edu.

About Crossroads 2010.
Companies are under increasing pressure from customers, regulators, and investors to improve their environmental performance in line with increasingly stringent sustainability goals. But bringing the somewhat nebulous concept of sustainability down to ground level is a major challenge. How can companies deliver on their green corporate goals by cost-effectively turning these aspirations into measurable environmental gains? For the past six years the MIT CTL Crossroads Conference has made the connection between supply chain management and corporate strategy. Crossroads 2010 continues this tradition at a critical juncture in the strategic evolution of supply chain. As the link between environmental track record and commercial success strengthens, the role of supply chain in delivering on green promises becomes more important. For more information on this conference, please contact Nancy Martin at nlmartin (at) mit (dot) edu. Media representatives who wish to attend Crossroads 2010 should contact Tara Faulkner at taraf (at) mit (dot) edu.


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