Towards a Unified Understanding and Management of Closed Loop Operations

Santosh Mahapatra, Dwayne Cole, Raktim Pal, Scott Webster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In recent years, companies have been emphasizing several initiatives to address environmental concerns that have given rise to regulatory risks, natural resource constraints and climate change which have negatively affected the business prospects. Among the initiatives, closed loop operation is the most comprehensive one because of its potential to accomplish the lofty goal of “cradle to cradle” in which material resources used in a business cycle are returned back to their original states for reuse in the next cycle. In light of four interconnected studies, this chapter identifies the key elements of closed loop operations, analyzes their significance in business and environmental performance and suggests models and considerations for managing the operations cost-effectively. Specifically, the chapter articulates the significance of remanufacturing and reuse of used products as the corner stone of closed loop operations, recognizes the criticality of acquisition of high quality used products in adequate quantity for cost-effective remanufacturing, establishes the need for appropriate incentives to motivate consumers for timely return products, and highlights the significance of intense communication with internal and external stakeholders for effective integration for environmental operations. The exposition aims to aid in developing a unified understanding of closed loop operations and suggests directions for future research to address additional challenging issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameInternational Series in Operations Research and Management Science
ISSN (Print)0884-8289
ISSN (Electronic)2214-7934


  • Alignment
  • Communication
  • Consumer valuation
  • Cradle-to-cradle operations
  • Remanufacturing
  • Returns acquisition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Applied Mathematics


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