As someone who has worked on a number of scientific and research projects, as well as industrial business projects, Prof. Radim Lenort sees into both the academic and the industry aspects of issues related to mobility and sustainability. He is currently Professor and Head of the Department of Economics and Management in Metallurgy at the Technical University of Ostrava, as well as Associate Professor at the Department of Logistics and Quality Management at SKODA AUTO University in the Czech Republic. His pedagogical and research activities focus on industrial logistics and supply-chain management. He is therefore best suited for the role of General Chair of SustainableMoG, the International Conference on Sustainable Solutions beyond Mobility of Goods, co-located with the Smart City 360 summit that will take place in Bratislava in October 2015. We talked to him to find out more about the challenges within his field, and the conference itself.
What will the main focus of SustainableMoG 2015 be?
The main focus of this conference will be on innovative solutions in logistics and supply-chain management, and their sustainable implementation into company practice. Traditionally, the automotive industry is a leader in this area. Thus, one of the keynote presentations will be by logistics experts from the SKODA AUTO company. We expect very valuable and interesting discussions to take place.
Sustainable solutions are beneficial for the environment but are they beneficial to the industry, from an economic point of view? How can the industry achieve balance between environmental, economic and social objectives?
Each organization should divide possible sustainable solutions into the four categories shown in the figure below:
From the short-term perspective, organizations choose the Ideal solutions, which allow reaching a high green effect at low costs or, rather, save costs. From the long-term perspective, it is suitable to implement the solutions selected as Economic and Ecological. Although the Ecological ones come at high costs, they can, in turn, bring benefits in the form of increased income by using an appropriate green marketing strategy. Ineffective sustainable solutions should not be used at all.
In your opinion, what are the main challenges within mobility and sustainability at the moment, and how will SustainableMoG reflect and help solve these?
Recent sustainable actions in the area of mobility are being implemented as partial solutions, which have a lot of potential but, in the long-term, will be depleted relatively quickly. In my opinion, the future lies in a strict adherence to the system approach. This involves not only searching for solutions that take all interrelations of a logistics system into consideration, but also integrating the sustainability with other new logistics and supply-chain management trends, such as leanness, agility or resilience. We would like to start a discussion about these challenges during the conference.