The European Recycling Platform: Promoting Competition in E-Waste Recycling

Case Solution

Hau Lee, Maria Shao
Stanford Graduate School of Business ()

The European Recycling Platform was the only pan-European recycling organization created in response to the groundbreaking European Union directive promoting e-waste recycling. Braun, Electrolux, HewlettPackard, and Sony introduced ERP in 2002 as an alternative to the monopoly waste collection systems that existed in various European countries at the time. ERP was based on the principle of producer responsibility, in which manufacturers are financially responsible for managing the end-of-life phase of their products. At the end of 2007, ERP was active in eight countries. It had gained significant market share and stimulated competition in European waste recycling. In November 2007, the ERP board of directors met to consider whether the company should significantly expand its scope of activity. Should ERP start handling new product categories like used batteries and packaging? Should it be extended to other countries? If so, which countries? If expanded, could ERP handle the added business complexity while maintaining the low-cost outsourced model? The case concerns an organization that is at the forefront of efforts to address the growing global waste crisis. It underlines the importance of managing the end-of-life phase of products. Students evaluate recycling as a business and market opportunity. It will assess the industry and market changes brought about by the European Waste Directive.

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