Gartner Research

Supplier vs. Consumer Responsibilities for End-of-Life Issues/Recycling

Published: 28 July 2009

ID: G00180369

Analyst(s): Kevin O'Marah, Stephen Stokes, Allen Johnson


Management of waste is an increasingly important corporate issue. While minimizing waste is an important objective, the emergence of the post-consumer phase of product life cycles and many supply chains has shifted the agenda considerably. In Europe, compulsory take-back of motor vehicles and end-of-life has been around for some time. Increasingly in the high tech industry, take-back of computer, printer, cartridges, and other forms of eWaste is rapidly shifting from nice-to-have to essential--both in terms of a potential profit center and in anticipation of emergent legislation in many territories. The key questions at the core of this discussion are: How far up and down the supply chain is a manufacturer required to take responsibility? Should that responsibility be shared? Should it be motivated by competitive forces, legislation, or some other factor?

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