Supply Loops and Their Constraints: The Industrial Ecology of Recycling and Reuse

by Roland Geyer, Tim Jackson



An increasing number of firms in Asia, Europe, and North America engage in voluntary or mandatory end-of-life product management. Since developments in product take-back are driven by a mixture of environmental concerns and economic opportunities, the most promising corporate end-of-life strategies create both economic and environmental value. This article introduces a framework that can help managers identify and assess such supply loop strategies. The usefulness of the framework is demonstrated by applying it to two specific supply loops, recycling and reuse of structural steel sections in the UK construction sector. The case study highlights the importance of supply chain constraints and also shows how lack of data can be a major obstacle to the evaluation of potential win-win supply loops.

California Management Review

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