The factors affecting reverse supply chain and circular economy, Case study: Mobarakeh Steel Company

Document Type : Research Paper


Industrial engineering group, Engineering department, University of Semnan, Semnan, Iran, PostalCode35131-19111



Production companies currently face a significant environmental concern. The circular economy (CE) was raised due to those concerns. The CE is an economic system that aims to eliminate wastes by reusing them. This study aims to investigate the factors affecting the reverse supply chain in order to implement the CE in Mobarakeh Steel Company of Isfahan. Structured interviews were conducted with 13 managers and experts of the company. Among the factors in the literature, 16 factors were specifically identified as relevant to the company. We use the Delphi method in order to determine the importance and priority of the factors for the company. To analyze the data, in this research, the analytical-survey method was used and a combination of library and field research methods was used to collect information. By using these methods, we select 7 factors out of 16 that were very important for the company. They are environmental-oriented design, industrial ecology, redistribution, reuse, redesign, recycling, and reduction. We prioritize these factors using the fuzzy TOPSIS method based on 6 criteria: efficiency of steel resources, slag use, electricity consumption, water consumption, gas consumption, and SO2 emissions. The result shows that “Industrial ecology” has the 1st and “Reuse” has the 7th priority. We identify the relationships of these factors, with the help of a panel of experts and, we plot the relationships as an IDEF0 (Icam DEFinition for Function Modeling) model. This is the first attempt to configure the model of reverse supply chain factors in a steel company.