October Blog Challenge Results: O.R. and the Environment; November’s Blog Challenge: O.R. and Families
My mother worked for EPA for almost 20 years, instilling me with a respect for the world around me. The topic of O.R. and the Environment seemed like a natural (weak pun intended) fit. I was struck by the sentence in Patricia Randall’s blog entry, “While I am certain it is possible to include green objectives in a model, I haven’t had a client say ‘Minimize my emissions or my carbon footprint’. Or have I?” “Green objectives” need a paradigm shift from being viewed as going above and beyond, to being intrinsic to the fabric of good business. What O.R. and analytics are already doing is finding the best way to solve problems with optimum impact, and that optimization should include preserving the planet we all share.
There are many opportunities for OR/MS and analytics folks to include “greening” as an element of their analysis that protects the earth while streamlining supply chain networks and decision models, decreasing waste, and increasing revenue and production. Maybe the call is to go beyond the obvious solution, to add in environmentally friendly options, as a “value-added” service to your clients, or to calculate the impact to future generations of not implementing green measures. Of course, this could be viewed as Pollyanna thinking, that it isn’t financially possible, it’s too difficult, or that no one really cares about those types of objectives. But to quote a cute, mustachey guy (no, not Paul Rubin,) “I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.”
Thank you to everyone who submitted to this blog challenge, they will be included in the upcoming Focus On Environment, a compilation of articles from INFORMS journals. As we head into the holidays, the next blog (and perhaps personal) challenge will be O.R. and Families. Please email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 12.
O.R. and the Environment
Extra Credit goes to Anna Nagurney and Laura McLay for two entries.
- Brilliant Lecture by Dr. Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate and Activist, Anna Nagurney
- Sustainability of Supply Chain Networks, Anna Nagurney
- only you (and your optimization model) can prevent forest fires, Laura McLay
- crowd sizes, home energy usage, baseball odds, and pop songs, Laura McLay
- Environmental Business – A Green Light for Analytics?, Capgenini Blog Team
- Corporate Buyouts, Sustainability in the DNA? , Ian Frommer
- EnviORment [sic], Francisco Marco-Serrano
- Deciding on Lean or Green, John Poppelaars
- OR, the Environment, and the Law of Unintended Consequences, Paul Rubin
- Optimizing Your Transportation Network can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint , Patricia Randall
- Primal and dual valuation of our natural resources using O.R., Thiago Serra
- Water supply and the environment, David Smith
- Jumbo decision models to protect the environment, Shivaram Subramanian
- Grizzlies, Pandas, and Optimal Ecological Structures, Mike Trick