Factors driving the implementation of reverse logistics: A quantified model for the construction industry

Nicholas Chileshe, Raufdeen Rameezdeen, M. Reza Hosseini, Igor Martek, Hong Xian Li, Parinaz Panjehbashi-Aghdam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


In the light of increased environmental concerns and the unsustainability of current construction practices, ‘reverse logistics’ (RL) has emerged as a remedial strategy, whereby decommissioned buildings are salvaged and returned back through the value chain for recovery, refurbishment and reuse. The drivers that impact the uptake of RL are known, but if sustainability outcomes are to be enhanced, the strength of those drivers must be quantified in order to ascertain where efforts should be focused. This study aims to quantify the effects of known drivers on RL, and in so doing identify action items with the greatest potential to positively improve RL outcomes. RL drivers are culled from extant research, and categorized as economic, environmental, or social forces. A conceptual model is developed and tested against questionnaire results drawn from 49 expert respondents active in the South Australian construction industry. The results are analyzed using structured equation modeling. Economic and environmental drivers, such as the continuing relative high cost of salvaged items, along with expediency of cost, time and quality objectives overshadowing regulatory demands for use of such salvaged items, are shown to predict 34% of the variations in implementing RL. Of particular interest is the finding contradicting previous studies, showing that social drivers, such as perceived benefits from ‘going green’ had no significant impact. Thus, the road-map to improving RL outcomes lies in reducing costs of salvaged materials, augmenting environmental policies that promoted their use, and to initiate a regulatory framework to generate compliance. This insight will be of interest to industry policymakers and environmental strategists alike.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction projects
  • Influencing drivers
  • Quantification
  • Reverse logistics
  • Strength
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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