Why have many companies used reverse logistics?

Disposal logistics and its importance for organizational and ecological sustainability

SANTANA, Marcio Roberto [1]

SANTANA, Marcio Roberto. Disposal logistics and its importance for organizational and ecological sustainabilityt. Multidisciplinary core specialist journal of knowledge. 03 year, Ed. 06, vol. 04, pp. 36-51, June 2018. ISSN: 2448-0959



This article covers the subject of logistics in a way that is only now beginning to have a look at taking care of businesses. While the logistics take care of the output flow of the products, the disposal logistics and supply chain management take care of the return of products, materials and parts in the company's production process. Environmental awareness, promoted by severe ecological legislation and consumer awareness, is forcing companies to use more recyclable materials and even taking this disposal take care of environmentally friendly products at the end of their life cycle, with the aim of making our planet sustainable. This work took place from the discussion of the existing theories in secondary sources for understanding, such as: books, scientific articles, dissertations and theses dealing with the subject of reverse logistics applied to companies and their effects on the environment from their processes. Through the qualitative research tries to clarify the positive aspects of the implementation of the disposal logistics, so that it also becomes an important factor for the sustainability of the two companies with the environment. We analyzed the cases described in the literature with the aim of highlighting the concept of disposal logistics for activities and their importance for environmental sustainability, recycling of materials, the reasons for using disposal logistics, disposal logistics costs and environmental concerns.

Keywords: reverse logistics, recycling, sustainability, environment.

1. Introduction

Since ancient times one has always tried to cultivate a relationship of dominion over nature. And along the timeline, from your creativity the same man, with the aim of securing your existence in a hostile environment, developed mechanisms from their discoveries, which led to the various forms of domination over all other living beings. What these days, triggered as a result of environmental damage. The industrial revolution accelerates this process, through the technological progress produced from home, the increasing competition among all industrial sectors to strengthen the consumer markets in the days after that the acceleration in the rotating time on production, which increased considerably bring consumption as a side effect the idea of ​​a world immediately and dispose of what has revealed as a fact to the environment and all its inhabitants, perverse put in Check the carrying capacity of our planet. This is because most of the branches in the area are only viewed as a location, a priori for the purchase of raw materials and, afterwards, for your disposal of the used products.

After full et. Al (1995) humanity advanced the range of 20% more natural resources than the planet can reset, thus striding in natural resources of the earth, is that there are resources that are non-renewable resources like oil.

Currently, it has generated huge amounts of garbage, the famous organic waste, chemicals and the mismanagement of this consumption and exorbitant expenditure, causing serious damage to the environment and its people.

Of those listed above, this study aims to show how the disposal logistics is revealed as a topic of paramount importance to organizational and environmental sustainability, echoed as well as throughout the population of the planet. Because the disposal logistics includes the reverse channels and after-sales post-consumer, the balance between the quantities that are leading to be discarded and reused, also to place the waste that is not reused, bringing more than the benefit times see sustainability for organizations in the end, strengthening their brands from an active attitude towards the environment, creating new opportunities for lucrative business with reverse logistics and also for the environment that is less explored, in terms of natural resources and also less beaten, in terms of the number of Drops on a smaller scale of rubbish in your midst. Not to mention current and future generations who want to increase your quality of life by preserving the environment.

Through the qualitative research tries to clarify the positive aspects of the implementation of the disposal logistics, so that it also becomes an important factor for the sustainability of the two companies with the environment. We analyzed the cases described in the literature with the aim of highlighting the concept of disposal logistics for activities and their importance for environmental sustainability, recycling of materials, the reasons for using disposal logistics, disposal logistics costs and environmental concerns.

2. The disposal logistics

Until recently the logistics were limited to delivery of the goods to the customer, and thereafter the manufacturers were not responsible for the products marketed. In this way there was no responsibility for the manufacturer's collection in terms of reverse sales channels after-sales and post-consumer. However, this horizon began to change from the approach of the term reverse logistics.

In order to locate the reader, it is interesting to note that the term reverse logistics has evolved over time from the approach given by any author who has crouched on the subject. In the development of the term reverse logistics we have e.g. B. C.L. M (1993) of disposal logistics is related to Agilidades and minimizing effort, administration, handling and allocation of waste products and packaging. Already in Stock (1998) is the setting of disposal logistics, seen from the perspective of a business logistics, relates to the role of logistics in return for products source reduction, recycling, materials substitution, material reuse, waste disposal, reform, repair and reconditioning . In Rogers and Tibben-Lembke (1999) the disposal logistics is defined as: as a process of planning, execution and efficient, effective flow cost control for raw materials, inventory, finished goods and related information, from the point of view of the origin up to the point of Consumption to regain value or customize your destiny. The topic of logistics Dornier et al. (2000) brings something new as it encompasses new areas of logistics, adding that also reverse flow management. Bowersox and Closs (2001) bring up the idea of ​​monitoring the life cycle, i.e. from the birth (production) of the goods to their proper disposal.

The following illustration helps us better understand the area and steps to reverse the reverse logistics, while there are other areas that are addressed by subject:

Second (2002), the strategic goal of the disposal logistics aftermarket is to add value to a product that has been returned for commercial logistics reasons, to eliminate workmanship, guarantee the manufacturer's malfunction of the products, problems caused by transportation of your products, among others .

According to Milch (2002), the strategic goal of disposal logistics relates from post-consumer to the ensemble of logistical product value, no longer serves the consumer, or who still have some use for used products for reached the end of their life and for Industrial waste. These consumer goods can be created through durable or disposable goods, forwarding through multiple reverse channels of reuse, dismantling, recycling to their destination.

In Figure 2, adapted from Milch (2009), abbreviated in exactly the same way, but does not claim to the intricacies of disposal logistics, acting through the most important backwards flows in the areas after the determination, sales and post-consumer want to exhaust the relationships of the interdependence between these.

Up until now there was a little to understand about the operation of "reverse flow" channels from the main logistics chains. We would now like to talk about the effects that disposal logistics can have on the environment, promoted by environmental awareness promoted by strict environmental laws and awareness-raising among consumers, which forces the more valuable materials and also those who care about the ecologically correct disposal of their products at the end of their life , with the aim of sustainability of the company's strengths and reinforce their images and our planet, which is in such action.

3. Environmental awareness and disposal logistics

To Mentzer et. Al (2001) what we call progress is fully changing the negative environment, i.e. destruction of our planet and its inhabitants are irreversible ways if you do not agree with this scenario. Sustainable development, among many other terms, supports the idea of ​​meeting the needs of the present without future generations having their own needs.

To achieve sustainable development it is necessary to be aware that our natural resources are not infinite, but that they can run, as is the case with oil. Hence, you have to combine planning with environmental awareness for our planet and future generations will stay in prejudice. Sustainable development in harmony with a new form of economic development brings the idea of ​​balancing the various ecological aspects that surround us.

Reverse distribution channels directly affect some aspects such as large amounts of household waste that have harmful effects on people and their habitats promoting a very low percentage of reuse of single-use packaging and products that can be recycled or reused. Like milk (2002), one of the indicators of the growth of this "availability" is the increase in municipal waste in different parts of the world. The increasing availability and obsolescence of products that have been observed over the past ten years has been reflected in strategic changes within one's own organization and in particular all the links in the network. These changes from "increase speed of response" in its operation from the launch of the project to your product placed on the market, through the adoption of high operating systems "operational flexibility" allow that, in addition to the speed logistics flow, the ability of constant adaptation to the requirements of the customer and by accepting the "responsibility for the environment" in relation to their products are sold and consumed, which is usually designated as "EPR" (extend product responsibility) the so-called "responsibility for product expansion".

Figure 3 structure reinforces the idea, as the increasing availability of products tends to become more expressive performance of the disposal logistics, both in the area after sales in the graduate. Technology, marketing, logistics and other business areas by reducing the life cycle of the products, increasing the speed of work to generate requirements on the one hand and causing accelerated exhaustion of the traditional means of the destinations of postal products consumption.

Meanwhile, environmental legislation Cool has exerted strong pressure when it blames society for environmental impacts from solid waste so as to promote sustainable improvements in the global environment and consumer protection practices, with the aim of mitigating, through such actions, the negative effects caused by improper disposal of society Waste generated by society. Because the products don't just have to deal with the logistics of delivering the end product for the consumer, but also an end destination for this product (disposal logistics), according to your consumption, e.g. B. by recycling to give to avoid the aggression that the same waste to promote the environment. In this way, through recycling for the reuse of materials as raw material for the development of a new product. Many materials adhere to reuse by businesses, such as recycling paper, glass, metal and plastic.

The results are very expressive of recycling both within ecological, as social and economic. In terms of the environmental aspect, we know that non-renewable raw materials run quickly and that it is a disease places to dump waste. Regarding the economic factor, recycling contributes to the rational and planned use of natural resources and the restoration of these resources, which are suitable for reconquest generating profit for businesses. And in the social aspect, the whole of society benefits from practices that protect sustainable development.

According to Prestes, et. Al (2010): Getting people involved with improved environmental quality is important; they understand, as an integral part of this process, access to basic knowledge about the environment that helps identify the main sources of environmental pollution.

It is therefore necessary to emphasize that disposal logistics focuses on reducing pollution and wasting raw materials, as well as recycling and reusing products. In the following figure we have all of the product cycles in the disposal logistics class.

4. Organizational and economic sustainability through reverse logistics

The implementation of the disposal logistics process, in addition to match the requirements of ISO 14000, can also lead to a reduction in costs in the finished product, especially if it is the reuse of recycled material, although for the provision of such a system that Fee is a bit high, but the return for organizations that adhere to the reverse system, according to proponents, are expressive. An example is the economy with reusable packaging or the reuse of materials that have brought profits to businesses.

To make the above statement stand out, let's take the case of paper recycling and its impact on your costs. In making a ton of paper that use paper, both consumption of water and how much energy they use fall by about half. 2.5 barrels of oil, 98,000 liters of water and 2,500 kW / h of electricity are stored with one ton of recycled paper. Thus it is possible the economy of the following natural resources: * Wood - a ton of chips can be made from 2 to 4 m3 of wood depending on the type of paper, which on a new life for 15 to 30 trees; translated to replace * water - the production of one ton of recycled paper requires only 2000 liters of water, while in the traditional way, this volume can reach 100,000 liters per ton. It is envisaged that a high level of economy z. B. Companies that use recycled paper.

In the following figure we have used the example of the paper recycling process:

In addition to the above example of recycling of paper see in der Milch (2003, p. 128) with regard to the follow-up with the aluminum processing company, we like the recycling of this, can considerably reduce the costs for electrical energy expenditure:

"Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the electrical energy used to produce primary aluminum. These costs are significant when you consider that electrical energy accounts for 70% of the cost of producing aluminum".

Meanwhile, Rogers and Tibben-Lembke (1998) still presented examples of the importance of disposal logistics, trading companies where the same 25% of their profits are derived from better management of their reverse logistics. As Caldwell (1999) mentions, Estèe Lauder Companies Inc. succeeded in implementing the disposal logistics business of $ 30 million in products that they left to dispose of (50% of previous volume). And when that company decided to develop the system at a cost of $ 1.2 million and get the 12 month payback just with the economy in processing, the return of products is handled using reverse logistics, after-sales. The ABC system has the ability to cover the entire supply chain and reduce the total cost of disposal logistics that Goldsby and Closs (2000) found in the survey of the supply chain of beer and soft drinks where members of the prison are confiscating from Claims outsourced and returned of used packaging for recycling and in doing so, he gained a higher annual savings of $ 11 million.

The value added to a product is the perceived value by the client who is willing to pay for it.After fulfilling the function of using the product, your value in principle If you cease to exist, but for some products that use the concept of residual value, than this value can still be restored even after your function has ended. Both ends of the supply chain are favored in this new scenario, on the other side of the consumer to give or facilitate the insertion of discarded materials in the "reverse flow" fulfills your ecological awareness and enables the recovery of part of the amount paid for the product while it will be the manufacturer who will have the greatest benefit as it will produce new products with significant reductions in costs and inputs. And also across the entire supply chain to undo flow as your profits

institutionalized enables new business opportunities and inclusion in the marginalized part of society.

These are some examples of the profits from implementing disposal logistics in organizations. However, the use of the l.r. only brings economic profits but also organizational sustainability. Your time ends, which would lead to economic profits, since the company that wins the disposal logistics and goes on to work with the image of an ecologically correct company. This becomes part of the company's marketing strategy to gain more respect from consumers for the value of their products. SEC (2003), Companies are interested in positioning your company's image as advocates for ecological issues and actions to preserve the environment appropriately taken into account, certainly rewarded with a healthy image Returns are excellent as a competitive advantage.

If you are economically correct, financial and logistical gains are just one of the benefits that disposal logistics can provide. "In this approach the best solution for the disposal of waste belongs in the binomial environment and profit are in such a way that the environmental guidelines as the financial results are satisfactory, this vision combined with consolidation the Recycle Vision" (SOUZA; FONSECA, 2008 , s. 2). They can also add the profits to the company's institutional image by attracting preferred customers (NETTO, 2004).

5. Costs for disposal logistics

The costs of disposal logistics vary from company to company, business-to-practice in a particular company. Therefore, there is no pattern that can be used as a reference for all other companies with regard to the issue of expenditure for the implementation of the reverse logistics process. According to some authors, the costs of running the disposal logistics can be high, but the returns can be very generous according to the same authors.

In fact, reverse logistics companies are responsible for returning the goods to the company for recycling or disposal. Its costing system should therefore have a fairly broad approach to how the total life costing cycle is. For Atkinson et al. (2000, 676), this system manager can manage costs "from the cradle to the grave". "The life cycle of the product encompasses the time from the start of the P&D to the end customer support". (Horngreen et al: 2000, p. 313). In reverse logistics, this cycle extends, also covers the return of the goods to the starting point. Horngreen et al. (2000, 315) has three advantages to preparing a good report of the product life cycle: the presentation of the total income and expenditure related to the individual products, the percentage of the total costs in the early stages and enabling the relationship between the Categories of costs of the activity are characterized by. Using a cost system for the entire life cycle does not have conventional systems such as B. Meta, Kaizen Costing Costing, Activity based costing (ABC) or process costs. What it offers, the visibility of costs throughout the product life cycle. On the other hand, depending on the phase of the product, as shown in Figure 6, the entire life cycle cost calculation includes

As we can see from paragraph 6 above, at each stage some kind of costing and Total Life Cycle Costing is used which includes all of them. What to consider is the entire cycle of initial P&D for the product for its life cycle so that the reimbursement of costs can generate revenue. We have another factor to consider when we begin returning the product. The importance of knowing the point at which the product is in its life cycle and the difference in cost, which is marked on a simple diagram at each stage, shows that the cost of shipping inventory at each stage of a product's life cycle. (Rogers and Tibben-Lembke: 1999). As the above figure shows, storage costs are relatively low in the initial phase, tending to grow enough over the course of the product in its life cycle. Failure to take into account all phases leads to incorrect cancellation of the total costs. Tibben-Lembke (2000) and De Brito et al. (2002), when speaking about the entire life cycle of the product and the disposal logistics, reports the importance of still being in the development phase as will disposal or reuse of pieces and parts at the end of the product life. Automotive companies alongside high tech companies like IBM and Xerox are cited as examples of companies designing their products that are already thinking in the last step.


Before all of the above, which this work wanted to show so succinctly, reverse logistics development and the concept some authors working on the subject, also emphasizes the strategic competitive position that companies can reflect to achieve with the practice of backward flows. For example, we can understand how disposal logistics is relevant for organizational and environmental sustainability, in the sense that the backward flow makes profits for the company, fixing the organizational brand in front of your stakeholders, like a company properly. Emphasizing that industries gain economically with the reuse of secondary raw materials, after sales and post consumption generated without being passed on without mentioning the environment, which is only for maintaining your sustainability, waste generated by the industry, or being reused through the process of recycling to keep your order useful, not aggressive in nature. The present and future generations also thank you for the responsible use of our natural resources in a way planned, thereby slowing down a kind of environmental destruction.

The following summarizes the milk-based framework (2003) in Table 1, adapted here, all of the above mentioned so far:

Table 1 - ecological and economic advantages when implementing disposal logistics


· Mitigate the environmental impact of waste and

· Save natural resources.


· Reducing the volume of safe and illegal disposal;

· Expect the requirements of legal regulations;

· Saving energy in the manufacture of new products;

· Reduce pollution from waste containment spells .;

· Limiting the risks of landfills;

· Improvement of the corporate image and

· Ecological awareness.


· Formalize existing companies;

· Increase Sales;

· Cost reduction by substituting primary raw materials for secondary matters;

· Direct refused to secondary markets and products

· Save energy and waste disposal costs.

· Creation of new companies in the production chain;

· Decline in investment in factories;

· Savings in energy costs in production;

· Increase cash flow by marketing by-products and waste;

· Use the distribution channel to drain the secondary secondary markets and products

· Improvement of the company image. Subsidized funding for the operation with environmentally friendly processes.

Source: milk-based products author (2003)

Hence it is of utmost importance that there should be more research and productions that focus on the topic of disposal logistics, given that the fastest growing world population is also growing the demand for consumer goods which in your time will be waste generation in your time Need through research and development, receiving the right goal. Disposal logistics is revealed to be a viable solution so that businesses can spend to operate sustainably and of great importance to the sustainability of our planet.


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[1] Bachelor of Business Administration and Professor of Vocational Education: Management and Entrepreneurship by the State of Bahia