Sustainable operations: The cutting stock problem with usable leftovers from a sustainable perspective
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This paper proposes a mathematical model and two heuristic procedures to solve the cutting stock problem with usable leftovers, relating the implications of the model with aspects considering sustainability in terms of environmental, economic and social issues. The possibility of generating leftovers that can be used or sold, reduces raw material waste during the cutting process and, consequently, increases companies’ profits. By reducing waste and increasing profits, companies can become more competitive in the market. They can also integrate environmental aspects into their operational strategies and, therefore, create a better self-image and profitability, generating more jobs and contributing to a stronger local economy. We believe that the model is more likely to be adopted by smaller companies, which generally face numerous barriers but at the same time have a significant social impact, generating income and jobs. Based on the knowledge of the authors, this is the first study that relates a cutting problem with its implications for sustainability. Computational tests were performed, and the obtained results are discussed considering the win-win approach to sustainability.