Getting to Grips With Take-Back Laws
What’s Yours Is Mine
Authors: Atasu, Atalay; Van Wassenhove, Luk
Date: First Quarter 2011
Tags: sustainability, take-back, electronic waste, e-waste, environmental protection laws
As diverse environmental legislation is being formulated around the world, companies may find themselves in a “gray zone,” as the authors explain in a new paper on the subject. This presents challenges but also opportunities for companies to clarify operations in four areas: forming a network, rethinking product design, setting up a closed-loop supply chain, and adopting new technologies and business models. The authors believe that individual producer responsibility, based on the share of electronic waste, or e-waste, each party generates for recycling, may bring the greatest long-term advantages. Even better would be to have incentives that extend product life cycles and prevent e-waste to begin with. But the onus is on companies to make this case with policy makers, which requires them to seize hold of the sustainability agenda.
Tools and Frameworks:
> “The Gray Zone” depicts two macro-level perspectives, with all the various legislative instruments at one end, and the subsequent economic outcomes at the other. The space between these two poles is where crucial implementation choices and producer choices are made that will affect a business and have an impact on different stakeholders in society.
Sony, Acer, Wipro, Xerox, HP, Canon, Microsoft
Based on comparative studies on take-back legislation in Europe, Asia and the United States, summarized in “An Operations Perspective on Product Take-Back Legislation,” among other research papers by the authors.
About the Authors:
Atalay Atasu is an assistant professor of Operations Management at Georgia Tech’s College of Management.
Luk Van Wassenhove is a professor of Operations Management at INSEAD, where he is also the Henry Ford Chair of Manufacturing and created the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre.