Discussion: Reverse Logistics and Environmental Sustainability

I’m working on a management discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.

Reverse Logistics and Environmental Sustainability
Retailers receive the most returns during the months of January and February, when returns equal about eight to twelve percent of overall sales, and the cost to return those units is two to three times that of the forward logistics activities that brought them to market. With a significant increase in returned goods from online sales, which now make up 20 to 30 percent of all returned merchandise for retailers, it’s becoming more and more crucial that retailers rely on reverse logistics. The focus isn’t just on the business, though. Reverse logistics, which helps reduce harmful emissions and energy usage, is intrinsically aligned with environmental sustainability. E-waste is now the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the United States. Every year, American consumers dispose of an estimated 400 million electronic units. Of the 2.4 million tons of e-waste generated in 2010, only 27 percent was recycled. The remaining 73 percent went to landfills and incinerators. Today, 83 percent of e-waste laws hold manufacturers accountable for collection, transportation, and recycling of products. Sustainable reverse logistics activities like repair, refurbishment, repackaging, recycling, and harvesting can help mitigate impacts, while increasing profitability and asset utilization.
For your initial post in the discussion, address the given questions in respect to the company that you work for (preferred), or a company of your choosing:
How can you help steer your company, or a company you are interested in working for, toward the future in regards to reverse logistics and sustainability? What type of future trend analysis do you have in place in your firm? How far into the future do you plan and look for trends: 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years? Why?
In your particular industry, what are the drivers that have limited or supported reverse logistics development? Does your organization proactively manage its reverse supply chain? If not, why? Could optimizing your reverse supply chain give you a strategic advantage over your competition?
Discuss sustainabilty efforts related to logistical decisions for your company. How can your company become more sustainable?

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