Exploring factors affecting the financial performance of end-of-life take-back program in a discrete manufacturing context

Markus Thomas Bockholt*, Jesper Hemdrup Kristensen, Michele Colli, Peter Meulengracht Jensen, Brian Vejrum Wæhrens

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Studies on circular economy traditionally focus on the sustainability aspect, however, the main issue regarding industrial adoption of these initiatives is the financial viability. This paper seeks to address this gap, by identifying factors that affect the financial performance of circular economy initiatives. The research uses a multiple embedded case study approach within a large Danish OEM, who has established four forms of take-back projects, in three different countries. The paper identifies seven factors which across the four cases affect the financial performance, through either affecting the efficiency of the takeback (i.e. the cost spent) or affecting the effectiveness of the take-back (i.e. the cost saved/turnover created) or even affecting both. In addition to the factors, the research identifies and discusses critical interdependencies between them, meaning that one factor might affect another factor positively or negatively. The paper provides novel insights towards the factors that from a financial standpoint should be considered when designing a take-back program, the research here seeks to improve the financial viability of circular economy, thus making it a viable option even for SMEs and companies faced with stark competition.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120916
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Case study
  • Circular economy
  • Financial performance
  • Resource effectiveness
  • Reverse logistics
  • Takeback program

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