In this paper we study design principles for closed loop supply chains. Closed loop supply chains aim at closing material flows thereby limiting emission and residual waste, but also providing customer service at low cost. We study 'traditional' and 'new' design principles known in the literature. It appears that setting up closed loop supply chains requires some additional design principles because of sustainability requirements. At the same time however, we see that traditional principles also apply. Subsequently we look at a business situation at Honeywell. Here, only a subset of the relevant design principles is applied. The apparent low status of reverse logistics may provide an explanation for this. To some extent, the same mistakes are made again as were 20 years ago in, for instance, inbound logistics. Thus, obvious improvements can be made by applying traditional principles. Also new principles, which require a life cycle driven approach, need to be applied. This can be supported by advanced management tools such as LCA and LCC.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Krikke, H., Pappis, C., Tsoulfas, G. T., & Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J. (2001). Design Principles for Closed Loop Supply Chains (No. ERS-2001-62-LIS). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from