Circular E-Waste Management: Organizational incentives

Robert Dichtl & Amanda Amalie Viuf

Student thesis: Master thesis


Electronic products are on the rise and have become an integrated part of everyday life around the World. But with newer product releases and greater technological advancements the downside are more obsolete electronic products, which have to be managed. Research suggests an enormous financial potential from the growing amounts of discarded electronic items, full of valuable materials. The purpose of this study is to investigate electronic waste from a producer perspective, and review the potential of e-waste management through incorporating a circular approach. The study employed a qualitative research approach, compiling both primary and secondary empirical data. By subsequently analyzing this, we aimed to examine whether there are any prominent premises of circular e-waste management that must be present for producers to apply circular strategies. We asked whether e-waste management must be profitable, if its a part of the company CSR and if legislation is an incentive for corporate e-waste management. The findings indicate that the lack of awareness, responsibility and external incentives may have kept manufacturers from implementing circular e-waste management strategies. And when companies undertake it, they are looking inwards to the core of the business, rather than outwards to public pressure and trends. This thesis intends to bridge the gap between e-waste management and a circular economy in order to contribute to answer how electronic producers can facilitate a switch to a circular perspective. We argue that creating awareness, creating own incentives and actively working with recyclers and legislators, can help producers implement circular e-waste management.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages121
SupervisorsChristian De Cock