As the manufacturing sector becomes increasingly competitive, and as conscious consumers put more pressure on businesses to promote sustainability, more companies are seeking innovative ways to optimize production that is both profitable and environmentally friendly. The reverse supply chain, or the flow of goods from the buyer back to the manufacture, is fueled by returns, end-of-life recycling, faulty part repair, manufacturer recall, and surplus stock. Utilizing the reverse supply chain efficiently helps businesses go green in three important ways:
1. Less E-Waste
Electronics companies that accept end-of-life product returns promote sustainability by limiting the e- waste that would otherwise add heavy polluting metals, such as mercury, to the soil and water around landfills. Corporate-run recycling programs fuel the reverse supply chain and help keep the Earth clean.
2. Reuse of Materials
Any parts or products which come back to the manufacturer through the reverse supply chain can be melted down and reused in later constructions. This is not only effective recycling practice, but moreover accordingly reduces the overall amount of resources and energy that needs to be used.
3. Reduced Carbon Emissions
A more efficient and direct reverse supply chain can reduce the carbon emissions of transportation required in multi-step chains between consumers, retailers, liquidators, resellers, and secondary consumers. Companies can minimize their environmental impact by managing returns in-house. The reverse supply chain is a lucrative resource for businesses to reap both economic and environmental gains. Greater sustainability can thus be achieved as emissions are reduced, materials are reused, and products are recycled.