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Project description

Protecting the environment has become a severe social issue, and enterprises increasingly have to demonstrate that they take this goal into account in their activities. However, in complex logistics networks the consequences of logistic measures on the environment are often hard to understand, and even more hard to prove. Especially with consumer goods being most near to the customers, as for example in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, there is a need for new methods and advanced management systems to support decisions and to prove evidence of effectiveness to the public.

In a large European consortium, we have contributed to the e-SAVE project (www.e-save.eu), supported by the European Commission in their seventh framework program. The project has developed an information infrastructure, applications and decision support tools to support operations and supply chain management and design decisions, taking into account environmental KPIs and the dynamic energy profile of products and processes. Methods have been developed to automatically capture data regarding the dynamic energy profile of processes and products through sensors, automatic identification technologies, etc.

Together with the German simulation service provider SimPlan AG, our department has been responsible to develop a simulation tool that can accept data from this infrastructure and conduct a discrete-event simulation, forecasting the environmental impact of specific scenarios in conjunction with the logistics and cost KPIs, and thus support decision-making in the complex distribution supply chain.


The results are incorporated in the toolkit SimChain as an advanced product of SimPlan, based upon the Siemens Plant Simulation solution as the simulation kernel. It enables the user to set up what-if scenarios, e.g. by adding or removing supply chain nodes, by modifying transport options, or by re-allocating products. During the project, the prototype has been evaluated in a country-wide network of Barilla as one of the major European players in the food market, exploiting the new technology for investigating different future network scenarios and evaluating them with respect to typical logistics key performance indicators such as service level, costs for transportation and stock in direct conjunction with environmental indicators.

Visit the project homepage for more information.


Project partners

  • Intrasoft International SA (Coordinator)
  • Athens University of Economics and Business
  • Barilla
  • BOC Asset Management GmbH
  • Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
  • ECR Europe
  • Intelen
  • Metro SA
  • Quantis Sàrl
  • SimPlan AG
  • Technische Universität Dortmund

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Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Rabe