In the history of corporate environmentalism, the actions and concerns have evolved from a localized, pollution emissions perspective, to a global concern on general environmental sustainability through such efforts as the United Nations Global Compact. Over the past two decades, several international conferences and treaties are held including the Conference of Parties (COP) which emphasize about the environmental sustainability. There has been a wide consensus among world leaders that it is inevitable now to check the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG). Auspiciously, firms across the world recognize the need for sustainability to survive since a significant share of the economy heavily impinges on natural resource base. In today’s global economy, firms are trying to integrate used or returned products into the supply chain (SC) to recapture the materials for economic and sustainability purposes. The rapid development of technology results increased demand for new consumer goods, by shortening the use time of many products and increasing the quantity of salvageable, used and scrap products. At that moment, The SC collects the returned end-of-life (EOL), end-of-use (EOU), defective and broken or unused products from the customer through retailers using a contractual agreement. Reverse Logistics can be used as a strategic tool to gain customer loyalty and reduce operational costs by maximizing recovery from used products. Reverse logistics is defined as “the process of planning, implementing and controlling backward flows of raw materials, in-process inventory and finished goods, from manufacturing, distribution or use point, to the point of recovery or point of proper disposal”. In present days, many drivers like environmental legislations, corporate citizenship are driving firms to reuse used products again to save raw material and protect the environment. For this purpose, Reverse Logistics activities like remanufacturing, recycling, reuse, and repair have been developed which are environmentally and economically sound to deal with the core returns after customer usage. Among these many popular initiatives, remanufacturing is playing a vital role for firms to differentiate themselves from competitors to reduce their costs and to add value to their supply chains and end customers while catering the needs of environmental sustainability.


A general reverse logistics network design model for product reuse and recycling with environmental considerations

Abstract: Reverse logistics is believed to be one of the most promising solutions for capturing the remaining values from used products and has been extensively focused by both academics and practitioners during the past two decades. Conceptual framework, mathematical programming, and computational algorithms have been developed for decision-making at strategic, tactical, and operational levels of a reverse supply chain. In this paper, a novel idea for the design and planning of a general reverse logistics network is suggested and formulated through multi-objective mixed integer programming. The reverse logistics system is an independent network and comprises of three echelons for collection, remanufacturing, recycling, energy recovery, and disposal of used products. The mathematical model not only takes into account the minimization of system operating costs, but also considers minimization of carbon emissions related to the transportation and processing of used products, and the minimum rate of resource utilization is also required in order to minimize the waste of resources in landfill. Illustration, sensitivity analysis, and numerical experimentation are given to show the applicability and computational efficiency of the proposed model. This work provides an alternative approach to account both economic and environmental sustainability of a reverse logistics system. The result explicitly shows the trade-off between the costs and carbon emissions, cost effectiveness for improving environmental performance, and influences from resource utilization, all of which have great practical implication on decision-making of network configurations and transportation planning of a reverse logistics system. For future development of this work, suggestions are also given latter in this paper.

Pub.: 02 Apr '16, Pinned: 10 Aug '17