Article | Corporate Environmental Strategy | 2003

Closing the Loop: Product Take-back Requirements and their Strategic Implications

by Michael W. Toffel


In Asia, Europe, and North America, regulators are seeking to reduce waste disposal and develop recycling markets by requiring manufacturers to manage the end-of-life disposition of products they produce. Such policies attempt to "close the loop" for products ranging from electronics to vehicles by creating incentives for manufacturers to increase the usage intensity of materials embodied in their products to reduce the demand for virgin raw materials and energy. This article describes take-back regulations and highlights some of their key features. In addition, several product take-back strategies are presented along with a few key questions managers should consider in selecting an appropriate strategy for their company.

Keywords: Wastes and Waste Processing; Energy Conservation; Product Development; Strategy; Policy; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Manufacturing Industry; Asia; Europe; North and Central America;


Toffel, Michael W. "Closing the Loop: Product Take-back Requirements and their Strategic Implications." Corporate Environmental Strategy 10, no. 9 (2003).