Achieving sustainable growth is to increase the amount of product materials recovered from the world's waste stream. On one hand, environmental-related legislations are forcing companies to be responsible for their waste—and on the other, waste disposal costs are increasing rapidly.

Considering this evolving business environment, many world-class companies have realised that reverse logistics practices, combined with source reduction processes, can be used to gain competitive advantage. The focus of this course is on the relationship between supply chain planning and environmental impact. It introduces you to the basic concepts of sustainability, reverse and lean logistics practices including reuse, recycle and remanufacturing and green supply practices. It discusses the role of regulations concerning product take-back policies, lifecycle assessment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and international environmental standard such as ISO 14000.

The course explores the impact of legislations and policies on supply chain practices and reverse logistics network design. The course is of particular value to those majoring in logistics and supply chain, procurement, marketing and sustainability management.


Course coordinator

Dr Reza Memary, Lecturer - School of Business IT and Logistics

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the concepts and principles that underlie sustainability in supply chains, reverse logistics and the environment, especially with regard to the management of recycling and closed-loop-manufacturing, and logistics systems;
  • Analyse the impact of logistics and supply chain on the environment and appreciate the importance of reverse logistics and environmental and waste management issues in logistics and supply chain from the strategic perspective;
  • Determine the performance measures necessary to capture sustainable supply chain practices;
  • Explain and apply the environmental assessment methods and tools and international environmental standards such as ISO 14001, ISO 26000 in supply chains;
  • Interrelate the life cycle assessment methods and tools with strategic decision making regarding environment.


Assessment for this course will occur at various times across the seven-week teaching period. In most cases, assessment should follow a similar structure to the below:

  • A short assessment may occur in the first couple of weeks, driven mostly by peer-assessment or objective feedback as is the case of a survey quiz or contribution to discussion.
  • Assessments that occur mid-study period (approximately week 2 to 5) will have a highly formative purpose, like an extended case study or a scenario role play. These are intended to provide an indication of performance and occur at this time to enable positive changes to future performance.
  • Final assessments are usually summative, and generally draw the course's threshold concepts together. Your previous assessments will have directly prepared you for a summative-style assessment.

Rich, online feedback will be provided to you throughout the teaching period on practical exercises and by individual consultation, ideally within five business days.

Please note, unit structure and content are subject to change. Contact your RMIT Student Enrolment Advisor on 1300 701 171 for more information based on your particular circumstances.