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Business, Environment, and Society Speaker Series with NREL: Andre Calmon, Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech

Andre Calmon HeadshotThe Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (“Center”) in partnership with NREL invites you to the next talk in the Business, Environment, and Society Speaker Series. Andre Calmon, assistant professor in the Scheller College of Business, will present “Considerations for a Closed Loop (Circular Economy) Supply Chain Management System for Electronics” The event is open to the public.


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is transforming energy through research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. They are a national laboratory of the U.S Department of Energy. This seminar series explores research opportunities in the circular economy for energy materials. Monthly webinars will feature speakers from both NREL and Georgia Tech.

According to the Global E-Waste Monitor Report 2020, nearly 53 million metric tons of e-waste was generated globally in 2019, a 21% increase over 2014. Of that 53 million tons, only 17.4% was recycled. As a result, a lot of critical materials like gold, silver, copper and platinum ended up in landfills while production of new electronics contributed significantly to greenhouse gas emissions and release of hazardous chemicals, due to mining, extraction, processing, manufacturing, and delivery of virgin materials. To minimize these problems, some consumer electronics companies are applying circular economy solutions like closed loop supply chain management.

In this presentation Professor Andre Calmon of Georgia Tech describes, models, and optimizes inventory in a reverse logistics system that supports the warranty returns and replacements for a consumer electronic device. The context and motivation for this work stem from a collaboration with an industrial partner, a Fortune 100 company that sells consumer electronics. The reverse logistics system is a closed-loop supply chain: failed devices are returned for repair and refurbishing; this inventory is then used to serve warranty claims or sold through a side sales channel. Managing this system is challenging because of the short life cycle of these devices, the rapidly declining value for the inventory, and potential mismatches between customer and OEM warranties. We first examine an inventory model that captures these dynamics and characterize optimal inventory management policies. We then introduce and analyze a new dynamic assignment problem that emerges in this setting called the warranty matching problem. Finally, we discuss practical implications of our results and how closed-loop supply chain management differs from traditional supply chain management.

Speaker Bio:

Andre Calmon's research involves using data, analytics, and mathematical modeling to address sustainability and efficiency issues in innovative business models. He also studies operations management challenges faced by companies in emerging markets. More generally, Andre’s research investigates how organizations can innovate to generate positive social and environmental impact while increasing profits.

Andre’s teaching is intertwined with his research and focuses on the relationship between operations management, business model innovation, and sustainability. Andre won the INSEAD MBA’s Best Teacher Award and received INSEAD’s Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in MBA Teaching multiple times. In 2019, the sustainability pedagogical material that he developed was awarded the Page Prize.

Andre obtained his Ph.D. in Operations Research from MIT. He also holds an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) and a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the Universidade de Brasília (UnB).


About the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business:

The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business was founded in 2013 to act as a catalyst and connector, bringing together students, research faculty, companies, and entrepreneurs to create an environment where business-driven solutions to sustainability challenges can take shape and thrive. In all, Scheller provides students unparalleled breadth in environmental sustainability, ethics, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and values-based leadership.

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