Web-Based Green Products Life Cycle Management Systems: Reverse Supply Chain Utilization

Web-Based Green Products Life Cycle Management Systems: Reverse Supply Chain Utilization

Hsiao-Fan Wang (National Tsing Hua University, ROC)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: December, 2008|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 488
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-114-8
ISBN13: 9781605661148|ISBN10: 1605661147|EISBN13: 9781605661155|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781616926243
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Description & Coverage

Despite being a relatively new field of research and development, green management has drawn much attention from researchers and practitioners. Facing critical impacts to its environment, a strategic change to integrate supply chain management on green products needs a solid base for decision making.

Web-Based Green Products Life Cycle Management Systems: Reverse Supply Chain Utilization provides a comprehensive review of current and potential research in green management and control. A unique collection in the growing field of green products, this book is a must-have for new and experienced researchers, as well as practitioners and academicians alike.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Data envelopment analysis approach
  • Environmental performance assessment tools
  • Green electricity marketing
  • Green growth in developing countries
  • Green product information retrieval system
  • Green supply chain logistics
  • Industrial metabolism
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Product life cycle management systems
  • Reverse chain design
  • Reverse Logistics
  • Strategic management of green supply-chain
  • Sustainability constraints
  • Sustainable electronic product design
  • Sustainable product service systems
  • System dynamic modelling
  • Web-based collaborative decision-making
  • Web-based green products
Reviews and Testimonials

This book addresses the different issues and solutions of a green product from its life cycle.

– Hsiao-Fan Wang, National Chung Hsing University, ROC

For researchers, practitioners, academicians, and managers seeking the latest developments in environmental informatics, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

– Book News Inc. (February 2009)
Table of Contents
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Editor Biographies
Hsiao-Fan Wang is the Tsing Hua Chair Professor and the Vice Dean of the College of Engineering of National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan). She has been teaching at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management at the same university, NTHU after she graduated from Cambridge University (UK) in 1981. She used to be the Head of the Department of IEEM, NTHU, President of Chinese Fuzzy Systems Association, Vice President of International Fuzzy Systems Association and Erskine Fellow of Canterbury University, NZ. Also, she has been awarded the Distinguished Research Award from National Science Council of Taiwan (ROC); Distinguished Contracted Research Fellow of NSC and Distinguished Teaching Award of Engineering College, NTHU. She used to be the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Chinese Industrial Engineering Association; also the Journal of Chinese Fuzzy Set and Theories and now is the area editor of several international journals. Her research interests are in multicriteria decision making, fuzzy set theory and operations research.
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Energy and environmental concerns are intricately linked to the supply chains of various goods. Increased public awareness of such issues is reflected in the contemporary business environment as well as government legislation. It is necessary to apply systematic techniques to quantify the environmental impacts of supply chains, and to identify opportunities for making improvements. This attributes to the life cycle management of a product. In particular, to urge a manufacturer to produce a product with higher production cost, which is the case for a green product, legislation is one way; market demand is the other. Therefore, in order to develop effective marketing strategies under minimum environment impact, investigation of life cycle management of green products from two aspects of supply chain management; and demand chain management needs to be carried out.

Many companies, today, have a fairly good knowledge of the environmental impacts, which their production causes, and they are experienced in preventing the limiting these impacts. However, very few have realized which environmental impacts in relation to their products through their lifecycle – from the production of raw materials to the production for use and, in the end the disposal of the products. Therefore, the classification of green products based on their ready-made impacts to the environment is not effective to reduce the environment impacts as the levels of pollution, consumed energy, and the amount of recycle. When regarding environment as natural resources, a product-centered environment management approach should be considered as shown in Figure 1 such that the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle will be measured as an accumulated effect, then not only the overall impacts can be realized, but also the stage-wise factors can be detected and integrated into design stage of a product.

Conventional Environment Management (b).Product-Centered Environment Management Figure 1. Ideas of Green Product Environment Management A strategic change such as the integration of product-centered environmental management in practice needs a solid basis for decision making. Therefore, it is important to both assess the environmental condition of the products, as well as the business opportunities, strategic intention and market expectations. Market expectations are an essential motivation, which can be stimulated by focusing on the advantages gained by each party in the product chain. This leads to an important issue of establishing a channel between the customers and suppliers. Due to the rapid development of internet technology, such channel can be effectively built up on the web site as a platform, of which search engine for such information flow is thus important for both sides and the base for effective search relies on a well established data base and efficient retrieval scheme.

Business opportunities developed by realizing the recognition of green products of customers. Then, by identifying the targeted customers, effective marking strategies can be developed correspondingly. It has been considered as a critical difference between conventional supply chain management and green supply chain management that market demand for green products has been a push force for production and its scale determines the success of recycled economy. Since 3R of Reduce, Recycle and Remanufacture are the basic requirement for green supply chain activities, a closed loop management from in-plant production to off-plant forward and reverse logistics has to be taken care of so that environmental impact and energy usage can be minimized.

Therefore, this book contains four main sections which include 18 chapters to address the different issues and solutions of a green product from its life cycle. After an overview of life cycle issues and concepts of green products is provided in Section I, methodologies and practice of green market and demand are discussed in Section II. Then, in Section III, issues of green supply chain management are tackled from both theoretical analysis and practical illustration. Finally, web-based platforms for information retrieval and environmental management of a green product along its life cycle will be discussed in Section IV, which pave the ways for effective supporting and cooperation between supply and demand. It can be noted from the well-balanced numbers of chapters related to demand and supply chains, methods related to website applications are comparatively rare and thus require the devotion of more researchers. The details of the content are described in the following :

In Section I. of Life Cycle Assessment: Concept and Practice, 6 chapters are included as below:

Chapter I. provides an overall concept of life cycle assessment of green products and the quantitative method of measurement and ways of improvement for the industries. In particular, this chapter discusses life cycle assessment principles and its application in the design and planning of industrial supply chains. A specific case study on the production of biofuels from agricultural crops is used to illustrate the key concepts.

Chapter II provides a rigorous method of life cycle assessment based on the concept of quantitative physical flow analysis, known as Industrial Metabolism. A discussion of the reverse product-process chain, which includes reuse and recycling, is presented from the transformation of both the materials and also the energy. In particular, the chapter summarized available types of software with examples which are very useful and valuable for applications in practice.

Chapter III discusses the life cycle management from sustainability viewpoint, and proposes a useful strategy to reach the global sustainability based on the continuous evaluation of numerous complex social, ecological, and economic factors. Thus, the article not only brings about the issues of sustainability in the framework of life cycle management; but also provides an approach to arrive it with detailed illustration.

Chapter IV discusses the environmental criteria which should be considered in green product management; and presents a method of environment impact assessment from MCDM approach. Therefore, not only the environmental criteria can be accessed from both the forward and reverse supply chains; but also the weights of their importance can be measured. A comprehensive case study of a vacuum cleaner is presented for illustration.

Chapter V is also a study which integrates the sustainability into life cycle management, yet taking a system viewpoint towards environmental performance assessment. In particular, the chapter highlights the environmental issues in the framework of overall economic, geographical, and legislative factors so that the methodologies developed along this line have guidelines to reach system optimization.

Chapter VI introduces the concept of eco-efficiency and in particular, provides two cases of European small and medium-sized enterprises for detailed illustration and demonstration. The article emphasizes the diffusion-oriented policy so that reducing environmental burden can be achieved by guiding the companies to improve their resource productivity and add production values.

Section II of methodologies regarding Demand and Service Chain Management contains 5 chapters, each is introduced as below:

Chapter VII brings about a different and interesting view towards sustainability. Realizing the importance of marketing demand and customer response for green product development, this chapter presents a developed management game and concludes some propositions on the trust and sustainability in supply chains. The detailed description of the design of this game as well as the roles involved in this game along the overall supply chain have been provided which facilitates practical implement. Also, further research along this line has been identified with a list of questions to be answered.

Chapter VIII presents a methodology of identifying target customers of green products for market expansion purposes. Based on a data mining technique, the customers can be classified according to their preference, purchasing behaviour and demographical factors. Then, by a developed Bi-objective mathematical model, pricing strategies can be developed from win-win perspectives, which is beneficial for both the producers and the customers. The rigors analysis provides a tractable approach for market analysis and pricing development.

Chapter IX tackles a different but important issue related to green supply chain management. That is the facility location problem. Regarding the environmental impact, the issue is tackled by considering the undesirable locations. Using Fuzzy TOPSIS approach, design of a group decision process is presented to find the criteria with their weights of undesirability. Measurement of conflict and vagueness among criteria and decision makers is presented with detailed illustration and numerical examples.

Chapter X presents an overall system for green service chain management, namely sustainable product service systems (S-PSS). By taking the factors of sustainability, resource productivity, and eco-efficiency into account, the article shows how the developing countries, in particular, can apply the system to trade off among these factors. Many practical cases are presented which provide significant references for both concept clarification and practical applications.

Chapter XI discusses the energy issues, in particular, green electricity and its renewability from historical development. Based on the literature review and the customer response, the article concludes a comprehensive approach towards green electricity utilization by identifying its development boundaries and past mistakes.

Section III of the methodologies regarding Supply Chain and Logistics Management contain 5 chapters in total. The section can be regarded as the dual of the previous section and each chapter is introduced as below:

Chapter XII opens another door towards green supply chain and logistics management. A mathematical model in the form of a 0-1 Integer Linear Program is developed for close-loop logistics of which optimal solution for determining the facilities of manufactures, distribution centers and dismantlers can be found with minimum cost. Sensitivity analyses on the recovery rate and land-filling rate on the reverse logistics have been carried out for managerial purposes.

Chapter XIII provides an alternative method for reverse supply chain design. Realizing the efficiency issues of the collection facilities and recovery facilities chosen while designing a reverse supply chain, this chapter based on Neural Network approach to develop a four-stage procedure for evaluating the facilities. Group decision techniques are in-cooperated with successful applications.

Chapter XIV takes a different approach of system dynamics methodology to develop a simulation model for evaluating different green supply chain management strategies. By measuring the total profit, the effectiveness of different strategies can be evaluated efficiently and successfully.

Chapter XV illustrates how to design a routing system for a distribution center to assign a number of limited-capacity vehicles to serve given number of customers within the required time window with minimum service cost. An optimization model is formulated in the form of an Integer Linear Program and a Genetic Algorithm is developed for efficient solution. Therefore, NP complexity problem embedded in such kind of optimization problems has shown to be resolved with reasonable accuracy.

Chapter XVI discusses a recovery issue in reverse supply chain. Criteria and the proposed Data Envelopment Method are presented to evaluate the used house appliance and automobiles. It aims that the cost added to the process of the recycled products will be justified by their economic and environmental benefit.

Section IV contains 2 chapters of current methodologies developed for website development and applications.

Chapter XVII introduces a preference-based recommendation procedure in a green product information retrieval system. The on-line procedure is based on an off-line database which includes the description of the green products with their green properties and prices; and the relevant green regulations. The information retrieval procedure then is based on the preference of the users and by a data mining technique, the products can be recommended and the database can be up-dated simultaneously. The system is useful for both the consumers and the producers. A prototype has been developed and illustrated in the chapter.

Chapter XVIII discusses a different issue of web-based green supply chain management. This on-line decision support system is developed for the stakeholders in reverse supply chain when they have different views, perspectives and priorities. The end-of-life mobile phones are taken as an illustrative example to show how this system supports a collaborative decision-Making process on the website.

From the content described above, it can be noted that this book will be useful for both researchers and practitioners who are interested in receiving comprehensive views and insights from the variety of issues covered in this book in relation to green value chain management. In particular, those who have been working on supply chain management will have an overall picture of the existing and potential developments on the issues related to life-cycle management of a green product. Finally, it is expected that with different case studies introduced along with the presented concepts and methodologies, applications of green value chain management will be pushed forward a big step towards a cleaner globe.

Hsiao-Fan Wang
Tsing Hua Chair Professor
Hsinchu, Taiwan, ROC