Towards sustainability-driven innovation through product-service systems

Research paper published in Proceedings of the 3rd CIRP International Conference on Industrial Product Service Systems.

Abstract

Many current sustainability considerations in industry constrain design space by emphasizing reduced material and energy flows across product life cycles. However, there are also opportunities for sustainability awareness to extend design space and drive innovation. Product-service systems (PSS) in particular can be a vehicle through which sustainability-driven innovation occurs. A framework for strategic sustainable development, including a backcasting approach, provides the basis for understanding sustainability in this work and provides insight into how incremental and radical approaches could be aligned within product innovation. This work explores how sustainability considerations can be better integrated into existing product innovation working environments, with an emphasis on opportunities that occur as sustainability knowledge leads to innovation through a product-service system approach. It is demonstrated and ideas are discussed around how sustainability can be used to drive innovation processes through product-service systems that companies rely upon, while also supporting global society’s movement toward sustainability.

Keywords

  • Sustainable product innovation, sustainable product development, strategic sustainable development, ecodesign, product service systems (PSS)

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