The background of sustainability is summed up by three words: Planet, People, and Profit. The 3Ps of sustainability require multi-objective research. This study analyzes the evaluation process of multi-objective optimization. Since it is highly critical for decision makers to understand the results of multi-objective models, the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach is used to put Pareto-optimal results of the model in an order and to analyze them. A case study of a reverse supply chain model with four objectives namely economic, social, environmental and legal is taken into consideration. Results of the DEA showed that the method can be effectively used in interpreting the results both for academics and practitioners. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.