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Reverse logistics (RL) implementation among contractors in Australia: practices and barriers
conference contributionposted on 2014-01-01, 00:00 authored by N Chileshe, R Rameezdeen, S Lehmann, M. Reza Hosseini
This paper aims to investigate the perceptions of Australian contractors concerning the prevailing practices and barriers to the implementation of reverse logistics (RL). A review of literature identified 18 practices and 16 barriers to the implementation of RL. Using a triangulated data collection approach, 6 semi-structured interviews and 49 questionnaires were used to collect data. The quantitative survey data was subjected to descriptive and inferential statistics with correlation analysis to examine the strength of relationship among the barriers, whereas content analysis was employed for the interview data. The results indicated the following barriers as most significant: (i) lack of incorporation of salvaged materials by designers; (ii) regulation restrictions to usage of recovered materials and components; (iii) potential legal liabilities; (iv) higher costs; and (v) longer time associated with deconstructing buildings. Relative to the prevailing practices, the top five ranked were as follows: (i) reduction of waste on projects; (ii) clearer understanding of the benefits; (iii) clearer understanding of the challenges; (iv) clearer understanding of the different aspects of reusing building materials; and (v) Enhancing the green image of the organisation. The results of the interviews also confirmed the findings from the survey, and identified the following barriers: (i) lack of support from the government in terms of financial incentives to increase the competitiveness of reused and salvaged items in the market; (ii) The attached stigma and resistance of supervisors, designers, and some authorities towards using salvaged and reused materials; and (iii) Technical barriers associated with usage of salvaged materials. The majority of the interviewees identified economic issues as the major drivers of RL practices. The identified barriers could be used as a 'road map' for the development of appropriate solutions for the successful implementation of RL, and to improve the environmental related decision making processes of the contractors.