UNICEF Supply I.D.

For my bachelor project I teamed up with three fellow students and UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen. In close collaboration we undertook an ambitious project to improve the vaccine supply chain for temperature sensitive vaccines shipped in UNICEF auspices.

Vaccine shipments play a crucial role in the global fight for child survival; adversely they also contribute to the environmental pollution of recipient countries. The shipments contain electronic temperature monitoring devices used to assure vaccine quality during transportation. The devices are non-reusable and over 100,000 pieces, equal to 3 metric tons, are shipped annually to over 80 countries along with 2.6 billion vaccine doses. These numbers are expected to grow over the coming years.

Proportionately to the increasing global demand for vaccines, the funding of vaccine procurement in support of the developing countries has been experiencing a general shortfall during the last decade. Together with the perception that creating environmentally sustainable solutions ultimately entails a more expensive cold chain monitoring solution, the incentive for initiating product innovation with focus on environmental impacts has not been present. Working with the up-stream vaccine distribution chain with a view on the environmental aspects of electronic temperature monitoring devices, gives an opportunity to address this challenge and show how an alternative and sustainable solution can be implemented without increasing the cost for UNICEF, the countries and the child.

The new up-stream service system ‘UNICEF Supply I.D.’ challenges the existing system and represents an alternative way of looking at the process of vaccine cold chain monitoring and the actors involved. This approach enables the introduction of a more efficient, user friendly and environmentally sustainable vaccine monitoring service system.