| 06.02.2024

Collaboration helps humanitarian supply chains in climate change

Climate change adds to the complexity to the environment in which humanitarian supply chains operate. In the meanwhile, humanitarian supply chains would contribute to the exacerbation of climate change if a greener approach of management is not adopted. Collaboration between scientists, humanitarian practitioners and beneficiaries can help humanitarian supply chains to become more prepared to climatological hazards and more sustainable.

In his thesis, Mitigating the Mutual Impacts between Climate Change and Humanitarian Supply Chains, Qifeng Yan discusses how humanitarian actors can break the negative feedback loop between climate change and humanitarian operations. Currently, humanitarian supply chains have their own share of carbon footprint to contain.

It is challenging to ensure relief items are procured and delivered in an environmentally friendly way and waste management is properly managed after the response. On the other hand, climate change brings more challenges and complexity to humanitarian operations, making natural hazards more intense, more frequent and more difficult to predict. Hence, a negative feedback loop is formed.

It is pivotal for humanitarian organisations to reflect on their approaches of operating the humanitarian supply chains. Yan emphasises the importance of the role of supply chain management in humanitarian operations:

“Without successful humanitarian supply chain management, it will be challenging for the humanitarian actors to accomplish their mission and even lead to unintended adverse environmental impacts.”

Yan’s research also explores how the relationship between scientists, humanitarian actors and their implementing partners impact on the adoption of climate information and green humanitarian supply chain management.

The research can help humanitarian organisations who endeavor to achieve more prepared and resilient to climate related natural hazards and aims for greener humanitarian supply chain management. The importance of the involvement of beneficiaries is also emphasised in the research. Making the voice of the beneficiaries heard in the decision-making process ensures that beneficiaries’ needs are communicated and considered.

As climate change is becoming increasingly challenging, breaking the negative feedback loop between climate change and humanitarian supply chains is critical to a more sustainable and resilient humanitarian supply chain management.

Access the full thesis here: 
Mitigating the Mutual Impacts between Climate Change and Humanitarian Supply Chains

The doctoral defence will be held on 9 February 2024 at 12.00 EET at Hanken School of Economics. Interested attendees can join via Teams.

Opponent: Associate Professor Bente Flygansvær, BI Norwegian Business School
Chair: Associate Professor Diego Vega, Hanken School of Economics

For more information:
Qifeng Yan
E-mail: qifeng.yan@hanken.fi
Phone: 046 590 0117