Edition 49
Socio-Ecological Model in Reverse Logistics
by Dr. Ing. Jose Antonio Valles Romero, Research Professor, Autonomous University of Mexico State

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It present concepts for the study of recycling of life products, analyzing the implications of operational and tactical originate, we explore the concept of reverse logistics within the general framework that integrates and explores models for systems analysis employing reverse logistics operations research techniques in their formulation and resolution.

In this pioneering work, it was concluded about the importance of the recovery on the administration of the supply chain.

Because the reverse logistics and recycling are not priority activities in Mexico, proposes criteria useful in the recycling industry.

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Mexico is the only developing country that has signed a free trade agreement, which includes a clause relating to the environment. This facilitates access to cleaner technology and promotes the raising of standards, which favors rules that ultimately converge conservationists of Mexico with the United States and Canada.

Among the purposes of the Treaty mentioned there are at least three that relate to the environment:
- Intended to promote free trade in a manner consistent with their protection and preservation.
- Promoting sustainable development.
- Strengthening environmental laws and their application.

The use of economic instruments would be a powerful complement to standard, the advantages of economic instruments is that their implementation can be less expensive than direct controls.

They can also help internalize environmental costs and benefits, greater flexibility to operators, provide an incentive to improve technology and generate financial resources to build the infrastructure and other facilities required for environmental management. These instruments would be a means of applying the principle of “polluter pays” principle, which is the rule that have adopted several OECD countries.

In Mexico already used economic instruments for environmental purposes, but a voluntary and limited. Its operation has no legal basis and therefore, the government can not resort to any mandatory measure.

Industrial Competitiveness Program and Environmental Protection
- The Industrial Competitiveness Program and Environmental Protection implemented from July 1995, represents a new era of cooperation between government and industry organized in the country with a view to modernizing the country’s industrial plant includes the following topics:
1. Restructuring and technological cooperation: It promotes the use of clean technologies and supports the industry with the Bank of Commerce and Development, in the simplification of procedures and requirements on credit operations aimed at technological upgrading.
2. Environmental Infrastructure: It is proposed to boost private investment in creating the necessary infrastructure for handling, recycling, treatment, transportation and destruction of waste, effluents and emissions, and promoting the integration of productive chains through environmental management

Theoretical Foundations
The purpose of reverse logistics is to recover waste products by consumers and the study and analysis of the options that companies have for a successful reintegration into the production process, in order to gain a competitive advantage in economic terms, and society in environmental terms. Establishing the strategic implications, tactical and operational motivated by the recovery of these life products, generating sustainable benefits for the company, both in the sense producer-consumer (direct function of logistics) and consumer-producer sense (inverse function of logistics).

It is necessary to design and implement a quantitative analysis of different logistical systems which consider the inverse function and allow us to evaluate existing operating mechanisms, and how to address the challenges posed by the recovery of life products.

Recovery of used or discarded products is not new is as old as man himself already in the Stone Age obtained shrapnel used in the manufacture of tools and tips for their arrows. The ancient Mesopotamian cultures, Inca, Aztec, Greek or Roman and recycling techniques commonly used in their daily activities. For example, the local currencies of the conquered cities were merged into new coins, but sometimes, those currencies were not even subjected to a recycling process, returning to be circulated once the seal stamped on them the new king . Other examples can be found in the weapons used in the battle being reconverted into or merged agricultural implements for the manufacture of new weapons.

With the Industrial Revolution began the process of economic growth based on technology. The Industrial Revolution sparked not only the economic boom, scientific and technical, but, with this, was promulgated intensive, extensive and irrational natural resources for models of economic growth for many years, and before Industrial Revolution that forever mark the development of mankind, the industry was not an important factor in the production of industrial waste.

Traditional processes of production and exploitation of the soil and subsoil, permit renewal and natural preservation thereof, since such processes were extremely rudimentary, and did not cause devastation or destruction of resources, new mechanisms and forms of production, along with intensive and systematic exploitation of natural resources, went generalizing without providing the same effects on the environment. For many years the image of hundreds of chimneys spewing smoke has represented the symbol of progress and consolidation of economic power.

Although the late 50s and early 60s began to manifest environmental awareness, it is not until the 70’s when the processes of natural resource depletion are evident and therefore the associated costs.

In this way, you begin to look, first, alternative forms of economic growth and development continue to prevent environmental degradation processes, and on the other hand, mechanisms for the recovery of raw materials.

Since the 80s, the company tries to progressively modify attitudes and behavior patterns that allow for improvements in their environment, or at least reduce the negative impact it has on the environment from the disposal of phones etc., So terms such as pollution, environmental impact, greenhouse effect, waste, recycling, organic farming or energy savings have become commonplace.

Discussion and Results
The industrial and business world has not been immune to this situation and have begun to consider environmental and ecological aspects as decision variables when formulating its business strategy.

A significant finding of this interest of multinationals and large business groups, is the inclusion of an environmental report in the information they offer to their shareholders. Conditioned by legal and market imperatives, in any case, more and more companies to incorporate environmental considerations in their management made both by markets as under current law, “the socioeconomic model of reverse logistics is becoming a model socio-economic ecological therefore reverse logistics, should get interlacing quality, innovation and the environment.”

Similarly, governments have begun to take social demands raised about taking measures to reduce the negative impact of human activity on the natural environment. These actions include those designed to reduce waste generation, encouraging recovery activities, recycling and reuse of products. It is not so green a fad or a temporary or passenger, environmental considerations and implications are parameters authorities, businesses and consumers have joined your decision making process.

The waste management has emerged as one of the main fields of action for companies that have begun to consider issues such as clean production, reducing raw material consumption, environmental design, reusing products and packaging , etc., with the aim of reducing the final amount of waste generated during the activity.

Waste management is an area of research that intermingle different areas of knowledge. It pinup possibilities that may arise in the company with the reintegration of products used and discarded by the consumer and the producer which has certain responsibilities. The first academic research on the recovery of life products in the field of business, dating back to the early 90s, but in the 70’s published several works in which examines the problem of distribution in the recycling industry.

Thus studying the structure of distribution channels for recycling in these works explicitly refers to some of the aspects that characterize reverse distribution networks, such as:
- The existence of many sources (consumers) and few destinations (collectors) in the distribution network.
- A very large set of intermediaries and new functions.
The importance of classifying activities repossessed.

Defined mathematical models, that indicate the best alternatives applicable to the development of reverse distribution channels, the existence of environmental legislation that affects or influences the operational scheme traditional businesses.

Until the 90’s when you start to investigate further the administration of life products. In this decade will make a number of works that address the problem of shortage of resources and raw materials, as well as the opportunities for recovery and reuse of used products represent for the company and for society.

Defined as the product of research, among other issues, the logistics related to the return of products, from the consumer to the producer, through recycling, reuse of materials and components, waste disposal and restore operations, repair and remanufacturing and talk and the concept of reverse logistics.

It defends the idea that companies should develop an effective policy for managing products recovered, without significantly affecting its cost structure. They are classified and analyzed, for the first time, the options available to efficiently manage the flow of goods from the consumer to the producer, defining a set of elements that favor the implementation of a recovery system life products.

For the efficient recovery of these products is essential to establish reverse logistics systems able to put in the hands of collector products discarded by consumers. This will start using the Reverse Logistics concept to encompass the range of logistical activities necessary to recover and exploit economically the life products.

At first, the references to the term reverse logistics appears in professional journals and popular (mainly transport and distribution), in recent years in academia and business.

A review of the literature on Reverse Logistics major contributions made are:
- General and theoretical developments.
- Transport and packaging.
- Markets end.

Most of the studies analyzed are “descriptive and anecdotal” and published in trade magazines, detecting the absence of theoretical developments that allow building a research framework, we analyze the role of logistics in areas such as product returns , reduction in waste generation, recycling, repair and remanufacturing through developing optimization models that combine engineering and logistics business decision models in order to increase the flow and return of life products, other groups the most recent contributions on studies and Reverse Logistics in five categories:
- General Concepts.
- Quantitative Models.
- Distribution, Storage and Transportation.
- Business Profiles.
- Industrial Applications.

It is necessary to develop quantitative models designed for the analysis of the inverse function of logistics, grouped into three distinct categories:
- Distribution systems.
- Inventory Management.
- Models of production planning.

Reverse logistics is a scientific field in which the contributions are still too partial. There is a huge imbalance between the large number of empirical studies related to the reuse or recycling of products and the few theoretical developments that give a comprehensive view of this issue.

In many shortcomings to be overcome in relation to a theory that gives substance to the various elements that comprise identifying strategic and operational factors such as the cost of collection systems, the recovered product quality, customer service, environmental and legal constraints , transport, storage, production (remanufacturing and recycling), packaging, design and resolution of operations research models, relationships and interactions between operations research and environmental management from two perspectives:
1. The impact on the supply chain, analyzing how aspects
environmental planning affect the production, distribution,
inventory, location and generally to all activities
2. The impact on the environmental chain, studying techniques, operations research to provide a better formulation, and resolution of environmental issues.

1. Dyckhoff, Harald, Lackes, Richard, 2004, Supply Chain Management and Reverse Logistics, Publisher: Springer, 2004 edition (November 13, 2003).

2. Fleischmann, Moritz, 2007, Quantitatieve Modelling, Voor Retourlogistiek, Publisher: Springer.

3. Srivathsan Narayanan, 2010, Optimizing Reverse Logistics with SAP ERP, SAP Press.

4. Murray, Martin, 2011, Materials Management with SAP ERP: Functionality and Technical Configuration (3rd Edition), Galileo Press.
Doctor en Logística y Transporte (Ph.D.). Obtuvo el Grado de “Maestría en Ingeniería”, Egresado de la Universidad Iberoamericana, Ingeniero Civil y Maestro en Ciencias con Especialidad en Computación.Ganador del “Premio Nacional En Logistica 2007”, otorgado por la Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes y la Secretaría de Economía.

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