Barriers and opportunities for implementation of a return system for industrial packaging : A case study at Valmet AB
Sammanfattning: Sustainability has become a more and more important aspect within companies worldwide. Environmental aspects within companies are often connected to higher profits and increased corporate image. One field of importance, to create a more effective supply chain within companies, regards to the logistic process. An area within logistics is reverse logistics, which regards to the activities related to taking back goods, information or material from the consumer or customer to receive value from it or to dispose it. By reusing goods or material, reverse logistics together with handling solutions could form a return system. Implementation of a return system could moreover be related to circular economy, which means effective use of resources within a closed loop supply chain. By combining logistics, handling, return system and circular economy, a more effective supply chain could be achieved. The study aims to create a theoretical framework on how barriers can hinder implementation of a return system and to identify potential solutions. This is done by investigating two research questions, namely how industrial packaging is handled today and further to investigate the barriers and opportunities for a return system. The questions and the aim will be answered through a case study of the company Valmet AB where internal documentation has been examined and interviews has been conducted. In addition to this, theory has been reviewed and a life-cycle assessment has been performed to examine possible benefits of a return system. The study shows that there exist barriers and opportunities, where some of them are mentioned in the existing theory while others are scarcely investigated. In the relevance to previous research, new barriers that need further investigation have been identified, in relation to the studied industry. These are lack of internal communication, lack of time and location barriers. Moreover, the study shows that there exists environmental incentive for implementation of a return system. However, it is hard to guarantee economic profit, since there are unknown costs due to storage, personnel and refurbishing. Future research should further examine the new barriers in the context of combined theoretical dimensions.
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