Components of business concepts for the diffusion of large scaled environmental technology systems
2016 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 128, 156-167 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Strategies for sustainable development are arguably part of the most discussed issues among political and corporate actors. These discussions are spurred by global challenges such as climate change, urbanization, and critical natural resource depletion. Sustainable development will require deep structural and wide-reaching changes in current institutions, technologies, and businesses. Furthermore, new approaches are needed to facilitate the development, diffusion, and implementation of environmental technologies. In the academic discourse different concepts, e.g., ecodesign and Product/Service System design, have been proposed within the framework of sustainable development. To deliver even more system-wide environmental improvements, these concepts have been challenged to be expanded in focus beyond products and services to include large technical systems encompassing non-technological dimensions. Motivated by these, the goal of this article is twofold. First, to offer an expanded view on ecodesign of product/service systems using a perspective of large technical systems. Second, to propose and discuss important components to consider when developing business concepts for the diffusion of large scaled environmental technology systems such as district heating supply, waste management, and renewable energy systems. Using qualitative semi-structured interviews and company documentation analysis, this study examines five companies that develop and diffuse large scaled environmental technology systems. As a result of these case studies, we propose components of business concepts that incorporate both technological and non-technological dimensions. Our proposed business concept components are: market (including regulation), finance, resources, activities, partnership (especially public-private partnership), ownership and responsibility, and legitimacy. Regulation, public-private partnership, and legitimacy are particularly important in the diffusion of large scaled environmental technology systems.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 128, 156-167 p.
Large technical systems, Business model, Technology diffusion, Product/Service System, Ecodesign
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122235DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.10.040ISI: 000378568800013OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122235DiVA: diva2:864077
Funding agencies: We are grateful to Tekniska Verken's Industrial Ecology Research Programme for their financial support to undertake this study as part the BMEX project (Business Models for Market Expansion of Swedish Municipal Companies). We also want to express our sincere gratitude to the interviewees for making time to participate in the interviews. Special thanks also go to Sahar Sadri of Linkoping University for taking part in conducting the interviews.2015-10-242015-10-242016-10-17Bibliographically approved