The Environmental Gains of Remanufacturing: Evidence from the Computer and Mobile Industry
AbstractRemanufacturing has long been perceived as an environmentally-friendly initiative. The question of how remanufacturing moderates the relation between environmental impact and economic returns is still unanswered, however. In this paper, we focus our attention on the electronics industry. In particular, we take a close look at remanufacturing within the mobile and personal computers industries. We analyze whether remanufacturing for such products substantially mitigates the energy used in the life-cycle of these products, or whether as in most electrical equipments, it can only marginally contribute to such reduction. Using both process-based and economic input-output data, we show that remanufacturing significantly reduces total energy consumption. Furthermore, we test the ubiquitous hypothesis that the market of remanufactured products is composed by products that have been downgraded and are therefore sold for prices below the average price of the new equipments. Using data from 9,900 real transactions obtained from eBay, we show that this assumption is true for personal computers, but not for mobiles. More importantly, despite the fact that remanufactured products may suffer downgrading, and that consumers therefore command a high discount for them, the economic output per energy unit used is still higher for remanufactured products. We thus conclude that remanufacturing for these two products is not only environmentally friendly, but also eco-efficient.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. in its series Research Paper with number ERS-2009-024-LIS.
Date of creation: 11 May 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.erim.eur.nl/
remanufacturing; sustainability; eco-efficiency; closed-loop supply chains;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-06-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2009-06-10 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2009-06-10 (Environmental Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ERIM Series Handler at the ERIM Office).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.