End-Of-Use Product Process Optimization, Disposition, Pricing, and Mechanical Design in a Reversed Logistics(1/3)

Project Details


Sustainability is not only the issue of corporate social responsibility, but the core strategic issue. Treating sustainability as integral to operations, companies can recognize and manage trade-offs or conflicts between business surplus and environmental concerns. In reversed logistic activities such as collection of end-of-use cores, re-processing, re-use, and re-marketing, the firms need to simultaneously consider balances of operational cost and environmental cost under various environmental policies and trading schemes. It is a challenging and an opportunity as well. Since year 1994, the sustainability quantitative work published in major OR/OR journals has grown 24.5 percent annually. It shows a clear trend of academic research toward the emerging fertile domain. This proposal deals with the process optimization and product disposition issues in a reverse logistic operations, which is involved with the economics of investment, e.g., machine replacement and new technology adoption, and yield, e.g., cost-savings, generated reuse values and environmental burden reduction.The proposed research is based on the investigator’s current research results and experiences, and tries to continuously deepen the following three-year research ideas. The first part of the proposal (the first year) will carry out three case studies for the vehicle used lead-acid batteries, tires, and agricultural recyclable materials. To do all these cases, this study will outline the internal reversed operations and processes step-by-step, identify where business values and environmental and social-responsibility problems lie, and evaluate alternative ways to make improvements that may require trade-off between the operational and environmental performances matrices. The second part of the proposal (second year) will extend the case studies by dealing with the process optimization and product disposition issues in the reverse system. In the tire recycling and refurbished case, it is involved with the economic and environmental trade-off between multiple processes optimization, equipment selection, investment, and yield vales. This study will try to optimize the entire system, instead of simply optimizing a single process in the reversed system. The last part of the proposal (the third year) will extend the research by dealing with the pricing and mechanical design issues such as the revenue sharing, quantity discount, the trade-ins, and the leasing contracts. We will also attempt to apply the proposed methodology and analytic results to the recycling and reuse operations in those case companies conducted in the previous two years. The study will construct the efficient frontier under dimensions of operational cost and environmental cost, provide strategic choice, and investigate possible Pareto-improving potential and system-wide benefits. The proposed research contributes to the extant literature in carrying out practical case studies, an innovative theoretic research, and in-depth analysis in a sustainable reversed system. It provides profound managerial insights to the firms, leading to a more environmentally sound and profitable decision-making, and to achieve the goal of the triple-bottom line vision.
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/07/19

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Case study
  • Reversed logistics
  • Mechanism design
  • Process optimization


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