A fuzzy multi-objective optimization model for designing a sustainable supply chain forward network: A case study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Accounting, Management and Economic, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Faculty of Engineering, Industrial Engineering Department, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran


Global warming in the industry sector have forced political leaders to seek sustainable supply chains. The ceramic tile industry (CTI) is a highly competitive industry which has a major impact on the environment. The aim of the current paper is to present a sustainable supply chain in CTI in order to minimize costs, minimize adverse environmental effects as well as increase social benefits. To do so, a multi-period, multi-product, multi-supplier, multi-objective supply chain has been designed. Quality issue with different technologies and capacity limitations for plants, warehouses and distribution centres are considered.
The framework of the proposed supply chain network involves a forward network from suppliers offering different raw materials and ends by delivering produced items to end users. The objectives are minimizing the total cost (e.g. variable and fixed costs), minimizing environmental hazards (e.g. industrial dusts and carbon dioxide emission), and maximizing social benefits (e.g. job opportunities).
The problem is mathematically formulated by a mixed integer non-linear programming model. This model is solved using a fuzzy goal programming approach. Using a numerical experiment, the proposed model is evaluated in CTI sustainable supply chain model. The results are reported fuzzily and provide three values for each decision variable for a period of two months. In addition, a sensitivity analysis is done on some parameters to appraise the validity and feasibility of the model. The results demonstrate that there should be a balance among the three pillars of sustainability in order to reap economic benefits in addition to considering environmental health.   


Main Subjects

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