Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems offer an alternative technology for power generation in stationary plants. The environmental benefits of this technology in the use phase are well understood and stem from improved fuel efficiencies when compared with combustion-based systems. These benefits have driven technology development towards commercialisation. Recent trends in environmental policy have highlighted the need to manage products responsibly throughout their entire life-cycle, including the end-of life (EoL) phase. At present EoL management of SOFC stacks is not well understood and requires consideration prior to market entry. Using the waste management hierarchy as a framework for the development of an EoL strategy a methodology is proposed to move from a reactive approach to a proactive approach. This paper presents results from the initial steps of this methodology. Analysis of existing SOFC stack design has provided an initial definition of the EoL problem. By drawing parallels with EoL problems faced by other more mature product streams and existing waste management solutions, a body of knowledge is built. This knowledge will support the development of a reactive short-term solution to EoL management of SOFC stacks, and will provide input to the longer term development of a proactive approach to minimising the environmental burden of this future waste stream.