Transportation of goods forms the basis of today’s globally distributed supply chains. However, maritime shipping, air transportation and heavy-duty trucking together emit between 2 and 4 billion metric tons (Gt) of CO2 today. These modes of transportation are inherently tough to decarbonize and may have local emissions that impact communities. Without significant action, these emissions have the potential to quadruple by 2050, potentially making this sector one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Through the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium, companies across multiple sectors, each with a stake in (or need for) tough to decarbonize transportation, convene and link with MIT researchers to amplify and extend their own efforts in this space – both as users of tough to decarbonize transportation or suppliers in the supply chain. The engagement facilitates information flow and value-chain opportunities cross-modes and sectors – with the goal to identify, launch, and execute cross-sector strategies for tough to decarbonize transportation to meet net-zero climate goals during the first half of this century.
MCSC focused efforts on this area include:
Identify metrics and underlying sustainability metrics to lead systems analysis including frameworks to analyze tradeoffs across metrics
Assess supply chain designs to support progress in sustainability for tough to decarbonize transportation including “reality checks” of proposed pathways, considering factors such as availability of input factors (e.g. biomass for biofuel production), technologies (e.g. propulsion systems), infrastructure (e.g. charging infrastructure), and operations models (e.g. transportation network design).