The purpose of this study is to investigate and discuss the challenges namely, the barriers and solutions to developing return supply chain policies in automotive industry. This industry has been suffering governmental pressure to achieve sustainability in all industrial processes. The solution is to reorganize the supply chain and rethink the product from the beginning (closed-loop supply chain evolving to cradle-to-cradle supply chain); however, the literature about this process is scarce. This paper presents exploratory research into the automotive supply chain in order to study the processes developed to achieve more sustainable supply chains. A strategic business net is used as theoretical sample to collect data. The results show that climate change concerns and governmental guidelines lead to sustainable organizational culture. It was found that sustainability is integrated in all processes, which affects business interaction with partners. The business interaction is difficulted by total product recycling. To overcome this barrier, innovation strategies, strategic alliances and governmental politics are presented as enhancers to return supply chain policies development. Organizational and cultural elements were presented as difficulties, but could be easily mitigated with the enhancers, alongside commitment and proactivity of companies. The research shows that when the challenges are overcome, the companies can integrate cradle-to-cradle design frameworks into their supply chains. This reorganization is necessary to achieve sustainability and accomplish governmental guidelines.
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