Abstract for: The Importance of Feedback Loops Designing Environmental Policies for Sustainable Development

This article examines the impact of environmental legislation on sustainability that manifests through the conservation of natural resources and landfills. The developed model is implemented to a real world closed-loop supply chain with recycling and Design for Environment activities of electrical and electronic equipment in Greece. The motivation behind this research is twofold: first, to examine whether the environmental legislation should be considered as an endemic process of the system under study or introduced externally without taking into consideration the rates of the natural resources’ usage and the used products’ disposal and second, to examine the efficiency of different types of environmental legislation on sustainability in order to direct the policy at the right mix of regulatory measures. We adopt System Dynamics methodology applied to many environmental systems. Numerical analysis illustrates that the consideration of the endemic process and the expansion of the environmental regulations in order to include also measures for the products’ recyclability and recycled content improves significantly the efficiency of the environmental legislation on sustainability.