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  • 1.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Thompson, Anthony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Lindahl, Pia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Key elements for implementing a strategic sustainability perspective in the product innovation process2013In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 51, p. 277-288Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to present identified key elements for successful implementation of a strategic sus- tainability perspective in the early phases of the product innovation process. In-depth interview studies were conducted in six companies within the same corporate group. These, together with a review of literature, previous research and company documents, were a foundation for evaluating if and how a strategic sustainability perspective has been successfully implemented on a day-to-day basis in the product innovation processes of the studied companies. The results are divided into strengths and challenges of the companies with regard to implementing a strategic sustainability perspective in the product innovation process. From this research, eight key elements for successful implementation of a strategic sustainability perspective have been identified. These elements are divided into four categories: organization, internal processes, roles, and tools. It is posited that incorporating these key elements into product innovation processes will encourage a company to have a strategic sustainability perspective, which will support the company’s long-term success.

  • 2.
    Lindahl, Pia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Approaching Strategic Sustainable Materials Management2013Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Society’s sustainability challenges relatedto materials management have been an area of concern for policymakers, industry and the public for decades. However, if those challenges are managed in a strategic way, they are not only aproblem, but could also bring in new opportunity for companies and other organizations to improve their competitiveness through developingproduct-service systems that promote sustainable development of society. The overall aim of this thesis is to explore how aframework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD) can support the development and design of sustainable materials management strategies in product innovation. This is achieved by four studies investigating howsustainability considerations are, or could be, integrated in decisions regarding materials selection. The studies are informed by the FSSD, Maxwell’s model for qualitative research design and the design research methodology. The first study is a theoretical discussion which provides a base for the following three exploratory studies. The exploratory studies have, through literature reviews and semi-structured interviews, investigated general sustainabilityconsiderations in companies, made a comparison of the strategic potential of two product improvement strategies and finally studied what considerations that are in focus and what types of solutions that are revealed when companies apply a strategic sustainability perspective to materials management. The studies have shown that decisions regarding materials management often arebased on compliance with legislation and on avoiding substances with characteristics commonly considered problematic (such as toxicity, persistency, etc.), and that decision support regarding how materials could be managed in a sustainable way are lacking. However, the results also include some examples from companies that have successfully developed pro-active strategies towards sustainable materials management. They have approached this through managing materials in closedtechnical loops, enabled material substitution through value chain collaboration and reduced material flows through new and innovative design. Most importantly, they have assessedactions not only regarding their potential to reduce a selection of current socio-ecological impacts but also regarding their potential to link toforthcoming actions towards the full scope of socio-ecological sustainability. Through this approach, they have found several ways by which materials with characteristics that are commonly considered problematic can be. The results highlight the possibility of enabling sustainable materials management practices by using a strategic sustainability perspective in combination with material characteristics knowledge and that a static division of “sustainable” vs. “unsustainable” materials (e.g., through lists of forbidden and allowed materials) is not necessarily serving the purpose in the best way. More subtle considerations are needed. By not applying a strategic sustainability perspective to materials management, organizations risk using “sustainable” materials in unsustainable ways or phasing out “unsustainable” materials that, managed differently, could be helpful for sustainable development. Developing decision support for materials management that integrates this new way of thinking will be the focus of future work.

  • 3.
    Lindahl, Pia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Strategic sustainability considerations in materials management2014In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 64, no feb 2014, p. 98-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Increasing awareness in business and society regarding socio-ecological impacts related to society's use of materials is a driver of new materials management practices. The aim of this study is to gain insight into what considerations come into focus and what types of solutions are revealed when companies apply a strategic sustainability perspective to materials management. Through literature reviews and semi-structured interviews we found that the companies studied have assessed material choices and related management actions, not only regarding their potential to reduce a selection of current socio-ecological impacts, but also regarding their potential to link to future actions to move towards the full scope of socio-ecological sustainability. Through this approach, these companies have found several ways through which materials with characteristics that are commonly considered problematic can be managed sustainably by making strategic use of some of these “problematic” characteristics and other characteristics of the materials. For example, a material associated with problems at end of life, could be managed in closed loops facilitated by the persistence of the material. Based on the findings, we conclude that by not applying a strategic sustainability perspective to materials management, organizations risk phasing out materials perceived to be unsustainable which, managed differently, could be helpful for sustainable development.

  • 4.
    Ny, Henrik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Thompson, Anthony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Lindahl, Pia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Isaksson, Ola
    Carlson, Raul
    Larsson, Tobias
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Introducing strategic decision support systems for sustainable product-service development across value chains2008Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most companies do not have a coherent and systematic approach for incorporating sustainability criteria into their decision support systems. Given this, what would such a <em>strategic </em>decision support system (SDSS) look like that that is coherent throughout a development process and systematically incorporates (1) a full sustainability perspective, including (2) a broader approach to meeting needs by product-service systems, and (3) interfaces toward both specific groups of decision makers and specialized in-depth tools? We anticipate such an SDSS being structured by a framework for strategic sustainable development that provides a principle-based definition of sustainability and a systematic method to identify problems and solutions by backcasting from that definition. This should aid identification of potential benefits and challenges of shifting from a product-only focus to a focus on product-service systems. Additionally, the new sustainability and product-service system decision support should be flexible enough to be incorporated into existing decision-making processes. It will likely be formed around a built-in product development process at the companies.

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