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Smeal Launches New Sustainable Supply Chain course

January 9, 2018

Image credit: H2AD 


It has been estimated that 98% of the resources extracted to make the things we use everyday is wasted. After years of educating students to create and manage efficient supply chain, how is this possible?  There has to be a better way.


In Cradle to Cradle Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart estimate that, in the U.S., a million pounds of material resource is extracted to make 2,000 pounds of good (at 9% efficiency) and within two weeks most of what started has been wasted.


This is what Paul Hawken originally called the "take make waste" economic model.  


We must move to what has been called a "borrow use return" model that mirrors natural systems.  In a forest, there is no such thing as waste. There are just flows of materials and molecules serving one function, then another and then another.