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  • 1. Basile, George
    et al.
    Broman, Göran
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    A Systems-based Strategic Approach to Sustainable Enterprise: requirements, utility and limits2011In: The business of sustainability: trends, policies, practices, and stories of success / [ed] McNall, Scott G.; Hershauer, James C.; Basile, George, Praeger Publishers , 2011Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In today's business environment, "garbage" isn't simply worthless refuse to be disposed of anymore; it often represents a material with monetary value. The human population is using up about 30 percent more natural resources in one year than the earth can regenerate. Because businesses constitute half of the world's largest economies, there can be no sustainability without sustainable businesses. The Business of Sustainability: Trends, Policies, Practices, and Stories of Success is a foundation set that effectively captures and articulates the why, what, who, and how of sustainability and business. Volume I covers the scientific, economic, and social underpinnings of sustainability and identifies the challenges facing business leaders.

  • 2. Baugher, John Eric
    et al.
    Osika, Walter
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ecological Consciousness, Moral Imagination,and the Framework for Strategic SustainableDevelopment2016In: Creative Social Change: Leadership for a Healthy World / [ed] Kathryn Goldman Schuyler, John Eric Baugher, Karin Jironet, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016, p. 119-142Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Borén, Sven
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Nurhadi, Lisiana
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Trygg, Louise
    Linköpings Tekniska Högskola, SWE.
    A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 2: the case of a vision for electric vehicle systems in Southeast Sweden2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 62-71Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Electric vehicles seem to offer a great potential for sustainable transport development. The Swedish pioneer project GreenCharge Southeast is designed as a cooperative action research approach that aims to explore a roadmap for a fossil-free transport system by 2030 with a focus on electric vehicles. In the first paper of this tandem publication, the authors propose a new generic process model embedding the Framework of Strategic Sustainable Development. The purpose of applying it in an action-research mode as described in this paper was twofold: (i) to develop a vision for sustainable regional transport and a coarse roadmap towards that vision, and, while doing so, (ii) get additional empirical experiences to inform the development of the new generic process model. Experts from many sectors and organizations involved in the GreenCharge project provided vital information and reviewed all planning perspectives presented in Paper 1 in two sequential multi-stakeholder seminars. The results include a sustainable vision for electric vehicle systems in southeast Sweden within a sustainable regional transport system within a sustainable global society, as well as an initial development plan towards such a vision for the transport sector. The vision is framed by the universal sustainability principles, and the development plan is informed by the strategic guidelines, of the above-mentioned framework. Among other things, the vision and plan imply a shift to renewable energy and a more optimized use of areas and thus a new type of spatial planning. For example, the vision and plan implies a lower built-in demand for transport, more integrated traffic modes, and more multi-functional use of areas for energy and transport infrastructures, for example. Some inherent benefits of electric vehicles are highlighted in the vision and plan, including near-zero local emissions and flexibility as regards primary energy sources. The vision and plan also imply improved governance for more effective cross-sector collaboration to ensure coor- dinated development within the transport sector and between the transportation sector and other relevant sectors. Meanwhile, the new generic process model was refined and is ready to be applied and further tested in the GreenCharge project and in other projects within the transport sector as well as other sectors. The study confirmed that the new generic process model suggested in support of sus- tainable transport system and community development is helpful for giving diverse stakeholders, with various specialties and perspectives, a way of working that is goal-oriented and builds on effective, iterative learning loops and co-creation. 

  • 4.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    et al.
    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.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Sophie, Hallstedt
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Procurement as driver of sustainable product-service innovation2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Current patterns of production and consumption need to change and they need to do so radically. For this shift sustainability-oriented product-services are highly potential contributors. Product-services have been described as a market proposition that extends the functionality of a product beyond the traditional view by inclusion of additional services into the product-service system. From a producer perspective this opens up for a differentiation from competitors and thereby for strategic market opportunities. For the customer this means the possibility to be released from responsibilities linked to asset ownership, more differentiated options and increased function availability .For society at large it means the possibility to gain sustainability achievements. However, the market adoption of product-services or functional products brings with it significant challenges. The demand side is still hesitant to ownerless consumption and the supply side faces economical and company culture-related challenges. The challenges also include customer-related challenges and the development of product-services will require joint efforts of a number of actors along the value chain, actors that traditionally have been outside the buyer-seller relationship. Product-services need to be developed on a case-by-case basis and involve the users perspective from initial need phase until end-of-life in a collaborative process that is not practice today. This paper explores the strategic position of a procurer in this development. It aims at providing guidelines for procurement processes on how to successively and systematically utilize its potential as drivers for sustainability-oriented product-service solutions. Three procurement cases are studied for which a movement from a traditional product-oriented process to a functional-oriented process was the selection criteria. These cases were used to gain a deepened understanding of drivers and barriers for function-oriented procurement processes. A template for sustainable product development is used as a base for the development. The result from the cases is used to adapt the guidelines to current procurement processes and to meet the procurers where they are today.

  • 5. Bratt, Cecilia
    et al.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Broman, Göran
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Oldmark, Jonas
    Assessment of Eco-labelling Criteria Development from a Strategic Sustainability Perspective2011In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 19, no 14Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To turn current patterns of consumption and production in a sustainable direction, solid and understandable market information on the socio-ecological performance of products is needed. Eco-labelling programmes have an important role in this communication. The aim of this study is to investigate what gaps there may be in the current criteria development processes in relation to a strategic sustainability perspective and develop recommendations on how such presumptive gaps could be bridged. First a previously published generic framework for strategic sustainable development is described and applied for the assessment of two eco-labelling programmes. Data for the assessment is collected from literature and in semi-structured interviews and discussions with eco-labelling experts. The assessment revealed that the programmes lack both an operational definition of sustainability, and a statement of objectives to direct and drive the criteria development processes. Consequently they also lack guidelines for how product category criteria might gradually develop in any direction. The selected criteria mainly reflect the current reality based on a selection of negative impacts in ecosystems, but how this selection, or prioritization, is made is not clearly presented. Finally, there are no guidelines to ensure that the criteria developers represent a broad enough competence to embrace all essential sustainability aspects. In conclusion the results point at deficiencies in theory, process and practice of eco-labelling, which hampers cohesiveness, transparency and comprehension. And it hampers predictability, as producers get no support in foreseeing how coming revisions of criteria will develop. This represents a lost opportunity for strategic sustainable development. It is suggested that these problems could be avoided by informing the criteria development process by a framework for strategic sustainable development, based on backcasting from basic sustainability principles.

  • 6.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    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.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Oldmark, Jonas
    Assessment of criteria development for public procurement from a strategic sustainability perspective2013In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 52, p. 309-316Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Green public procurement has emerged as a policy instrument with a significant potential to steer procurers' and producers' decisions in a sustainable direction. The purpose of this study is to assess the process for development of green public procurement criteria at a Swedish governmental expert body from a strategic sustainability perspective, i.e. to identify strengths and weaknesses from such a perspective as a basis for making this process more supportive of sustainable product and service innovation. A previously published framework for strategic sustainable development is used for the assessment. The assessment shows that the criteria development process is transparent, well-documented and that it encourages a high level of participation by the members of the working groups. However, the assessment also points to several weaknesses of the process. These include, e.g., a limited impact perspective and lack of a clear definition of sustainability objectives. The development process therefore results in criteria which mainly concern a selection of current environmental impacts outside the context of long-term objectives and consequently there are no strategies to prepare for future processes. The conclusion is that the current process may result in improvements as regards some known environmental problems, but to allow for a strategic approach that could more significantly promote innovative product-service system solutions in support of sustainable development, process changes are needed. Essential process changes are proposed in this paper.

  • 7.
    Broman, Göran
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Integrating Environmental Aspects in Engineering Education2002In: International journal of engineering education, ISSN 0949-149X, Vol. 18, no 6, p. 717-724Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The key role of engineers for the transformation of society towards sustainability is a strong motivation for increasing the environmental knowledge within engineering education. Doing this by the concept of integration is presently considered more appropriate than to develop more new education programmes for environmental specialists. This paper describes the integration of environmental aspects into a mechanical engineering education programme. The Natural Step Framework has been used as a basis for this integration. It has been possible to include environmental knowledge without compromising the engineering quality of the programme.

  • 8. Broman, Göran
    et al.
    Holmberg, John
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Simplicity Without Reduction: Thinking Upstream Towards the Sustainable Society2000In: Interfaces, ISSN 0092-2102, E-ISSN 1526-551X, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 13-25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The natural-step framework is used by over 100 organizations, including many global corporations in Europe and the United States, to provide strategic direction for their sustainability initiatives. The framework is built on the concept of simplicity without reduction. Out of respect for complexity we designed it to provide a compass, a guide for strategic direction. The framework consists of a backcasting planning process for sustainable development based on four principles (system conditions) for sustainability. The framework does not prescribe detailed actions. Once an organization understands the framework it identifies and specifies the detailed means by which to achieve the strategy, because it knows its business best. The steps in the planning process are understanding and discussing the system conditions for sustainability, describing and discussing how the company relates to the system conditions in today's situation, creating a vision of how the company will fulfill its customers' needs in the futur e while complying with the system conditions, and specifying a program of actions that will take the company from today's situation to the future vision.

  • 9.
    Broman, Göran
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Collins, Terrence
    Carnegie Mellon Univ, USA.
    Basile, George
    Arizona State Univ, USA.
    Baumgartner, Rupert
    Graz Univ, AUT.
    Larsson, Tobias
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Huisingh, Donald
    Univ Tennessee, USA.
    Science in support of systematic leadership towards sustainability2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, p. 1-9Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The un-sustainable course of our societies is the greatest threat humanity has ever confronted. The biophysical systems upon which we are totally dependent have not been challenged by human activities at the global scale before and our impacts upon those planetary systems, as well as upon our social systems, cannot be adequately addressed by ad hoc solutions. Science and leadership will be required to address this threat and transform our current societies into sustainable societies. This Special Volume presents an evolving, yet increasingly cohesive, science-based perspective on leadership towards sustainability. Examples of crucial, overall questions addressed by authors of articles in this Special Volume are: How can science help to clarify sustainability as a foundational platform for success for society's core institutions (e.g. business, governance and education), and how can this platform inform envisioning, planning, monitoring, communication and decision making to accelerate the needed transitions? The conceptual framing of sustainable development in this Special Volume is based upon the logic that it is only if we can define sustainability in a scientifically solid way, as a frame for any vision, that we can analyze current situations in relation to such sustainable visions, and design strategies to close the gap to such visions. In moving from current situations towards possible sustainable futures, specific support in the form of leadership concepts, methods, tools, and requirements are also essential, i.e. given clarity around what needs to be achieved, effective leadership then requires knowing how to achieve it. Both the what and the how questions are addressed in this Special Volume. The research described provides a foundation for moving from ad hoc activities to systemic, systematic and strategic transitions towards sustainability. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

  • 10.
    Broman, Göran
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    A framework for strategic sustainable development2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 17-31Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to give a comprehensive and cohesive description of the most recent version of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), and also to describe and discuss the overall method for developing the FSSD, elaborate on the general rational for and general benefits of a framework of this type, and Validate benefits of the FSSD through examples of its application. The purpose is also to point to pertinent future work. In preparation of this paper, we have reviewed previous publications and other documents related to the FSSD and reflected on the 25-year learning process between scientists and practitioners. We conclude that the FSSD has proven to aid organizations in thoroughly understanding and putting themselves in context of the global sustainability challenge, and to move themselves strategically towards sustainability, i.e., to stepwise reduce their negative impacts on ecological and social systems at large while strengthening the own organization through capturing of innovation opportunities, including new business models, exploration of new markets and winning of new market shares, and through reduced risks and operation costs. Specifically, we conclude that the FSSD aids more effective management of system boundaries and trade-offs, makes it possible to model and assess sustainable potentials for various materials and practices before investments are made, and offers the possibility for more effective collaboration across disciplines and sectors, regions, value-chains and stakeholder groups. We also conclude that the FSSD makes it possible to prevent damages, even from yet unknown problems, and not the least, to guide selection, development and combination of supplementary methods, tools, and other forms of support, which makes it possible to increase their utility for strategic sustainable development. Finally, we have shown that the FSSD is useful for structuring transdisciplinary academic education and research. Several examples of ongoing FSSD related research, as well as ideas for future work, are given. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 11.
    Broman, Göran
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Basile, George
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Larsson, Tobias
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Baumgartner, Rupert
    Collins, Terry
    Huisingh, Donald
    Systematic leadership towards sustainability2013In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Systematic leadership towards sustainability implies utilization of systems thinking for step-wise approaches to transformative changes towards sustainable societies. This ‘call-for-papers’ (CfPs) for a Special Volume of the Journal of Cleaner Production is focused upon what types of research are needed for us to make the necessary local, regional, national and global changes. This CfPs is for anyone who wishes to address these challenges seriously, that is, to utilize essential aspects of leadership to contribute strategically to the transition towards sustainable societies. To successfully address these challenges, people from different sectors and disciplines must work together in a coordinated and efficient way. We wish to explore the question: What support do such transformative endeavors require and how can science contribute?

  • 12.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Holmberg, John
    Lundqvist, Ulrika
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    A Method for Sustainable Product Development In Small and Medium Sized Enterprises2000Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A qualitative Method for Sustainable Product Development (MSPD) is presented. It consists of three tools: an Integrated Product Development Model (IPDM), a strategic planning process based on backcasting (ABCD-analysis), and a matrix containing hierarchically ordered and guiding questions. This Sustainability Product Analysis (SPA) matrix has conditions for sustainability along one axis and the life cycle of the product along the other axis. The SPA-matrix is used in the ABCD-analysis, which in turn is used in the IPDM. Integrating the tools in this way and using overall conditions for sustainability is unique compared to many other tools and methods for design for the environment. The MSPD is being developed in discussions with ten small- and medium sized enterprises.

  • 13.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Lundqvist, Ulrika
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Holmberg, John
    An Approach to Sustainability Product Analysis in Product Development2001Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    A method for sustainable product development based on a modular system of guiding questions2007In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we present a Method for Sustainable Product Development (MSPD) with the aim of integrating social and ecological aspects of sustainability with a strategic business perspective in product development. The method applies backcasting from basic principles for sustainability, which allows a strategic approach, and it includes a modular system of guiding questions that are derived by considering these principles and the product life cycle. Initial testing in Swedish companies indicates that the suggested MSPD promotes a ‘bird’s eye’ perspective and encourage and aid development of products that support society’s transformation towards sustainability. Furthermore, it is concluded that the modular system provides flexibility and user-friendliness.

  • 15.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Wall, Johan
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Introductory Procedure for Sustainability-Driven Design Optimization2007Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In response to the increasingly competitive global market, there is a growing interest in design optimization. Being able to include aspects of socio-ecological sustainability in product design should aid companies to both improve current competitiveness and to identify viable long-term investment paths and new business opportunities in the evolving sustainability-driven market. A case study of a water jet cutting machine is used to illustrate a new iterative optimization procedure that combines a technical assessment with a sustainability assessment. Sustainability assessment methods/tools are first used to identify prominent sustainability problems from present-day flows and practices (“societal indicators”) and to generate ideas of long-term solutions and visions. Based on this, preliminary ideas about likely desirable changes in machine properties are obtained. Technical investigations are then performed to assess if/how these particularly desirable changes in machine properties could in principle be realized through changes in design variables. After that, obtainable changes are fed back to a new and more refined sustainability assessment to find out the societal implications of these changes. This may in turn result in other desirable design changes, which may call for a new and more refined technical assessment, etcetera. The experience from the case study indicates that the suggested integrated and iterative working procedure should be able to add information about socio-ecological impacts of product properties and influence design criteria used in prioritisation situations during product development.

  • 16.
    França, Cesar-Levy
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Basile, George
    Arizona State University, USA.
    Trygg, Louise
    Linkoping University, SWE.
    An approach to business model innovation and design for strategic sustainable development2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, p. 155-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Successful business is increasingly about understanding the challenges and opportunities linked to society's transition towards sustainability and, e.g., being able to innovate, design and build business models that are functional in this context. However, current business model innovation and design generally fails to sufficiently embrace the sustainability dimension. Typically, the business case of sustainability is not understood profoundly enough; the planning horizon and system scope are insufficient; the competence to bring together people into systematic ventures towards sustainable business is too low. A unifying framework for sustainability analyses, planning, cross-disciplinary and cross-sector cooperation, and cohesive use of the myriad sustainability tools, methods and concepts has been developed: the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). Similarly, a generic approach to business model design has been put forward: the Business Model Canvas (BMC). In this paper we explore how the FSSD could inform business model innovation and design by combining it with the BMC and supplementary tools, methods and concepts such as creativity techniques, value network mapping, life-cycle assessment, and product-service systems. The results show that the FSSD-BMC combination can support business model innovation and design for strategic sustainable development, as well as strengthen each supplementary tool, method and concept in its own primary purpose. We apply the combined approach, for the purpose of initial testing and presentation, to a real case of business model evolution. Based on our findings we propose a new approach to business model innovation and design for strategic sustainable development. The new approach facilitates, e.g., business scalability and risk avoidance and clarifies the interplay between classical business model development and strategic sustainability thinking. The new approach highlights the opportunity for novel business model design for future sustainable success.

  • 17.
    França, Cesar-Levy
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. BTH.
    Broman, Göran
    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.
    Trygg, Louise
    Sustainability Self-Assessment and Business Model Design2012In: Proceedings of the 17th Sustainable Innovation Conference, 2012, p. 89-100Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The business case of sustainability has been argued for by many authors (Willard, 2005; McNall et al., 2011). There is a large degree of consensus regarding the potential business impact of sustainability. However, most companies either are not acting or are falling short on execution (MIT Sloan, 2009). Relatively few companies consider innovation for sustainability substantially rewarding. Suggested solution for this includes better access to frameworks for understanding sustainability and value creation and the business cases thereof (MIT Sloan, 2009). Furthermore, it is well-known that support for generation and selection of ideas and for formulating goals and strategies is especially essential to have during the early phases of the innovation process (Roozenburg & Eekels, 1995).

     

    The usual absence of an operational definition of sustainability is still a major barrier to corporate strategic sustainable development (Holmberg & Robèrt, 2000). A sustainability definition that can guide assessment of the current situation and stimulate generation of ideas for upstream solutions and strategic guidelines that can aid prioritization of early smart actions are among the most promising leverage points. A framework including those features is being developed in an international consensus process since twenty years (see, e.g., Robèrt et al., 2012). Among other things, this framework for strategic sustainable development FSSD, clarifies the self-interest in sustainability work and thus supports more widespread and proactive sustainable innovation. 

    In this study, the FSSD is used as the main basis for a new tool to be used in early phases of the innovation process for self-assessment of an organization’s current maturity and performance from an overall strategic sustainability point of view and for stimulating generation of ideas for business models design. We present a prototype version of such a tool and results from initial tests of this tool performed in four organizations. We study in particular whether the outlined tool is perceived by the organizations to be: (i) easy to comprehend, (ii) relevant, (iii) capable of differentiating the organizations in a comprehensive way, (iv) helpful for discovering insufficiencies that the organizations are not already aware of and (v) helpful for generation and selection of ideas for upstream solutions, business model innovation and for formulation of goals, and strategies. 

  • 18. Hallstedt, Sophie
    et al.
    Ny, Henrik
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Broman, Göran
    An approach to assessing sustainability integration in strategic decision systems for product development2010In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 18, no 8, p. 703-712Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article aims to explore a new approach to assess company decision systems regarding sustainability-related communication and decision support between senior management and product development levels. The assessment approach was developed in theory and its applicability was directly tested in action research in two small and medium-sized companies and two large companies. The results were validated against experiences made by two management consultancies. Our study indicates that successful companies should: (i) integrate sustainability into business goals and plans, backed up by suitable (ii) internal incentives and disincentives and (iii) decision support tools. Our study also indicates that the new assessment approach can be used as a template to assess the current state of sustainability integration in company decision systems.

  • 19.
    Holmstedt, Louise
    et al.
    KTH, SWE.
    Brandt, Nils
    KTH, SWE.
    Robèrt, Karl Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Can Stockholm Royal Seaport be part of the puzzle towards global sustainability?: From local to global sustainability using the same set of criteria2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 72-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Urban sustainable development is today seen as one of the keys towards unlocking the quest for a sustainable world. One feature of urban sustainability is the increased interest in developing sustainable urban districts. For many of these developments, guiding sustainability documents are developed to frame future goals. However, few of these documents specify on which grounds they determine the sustainability of goals and they are largely developed as independent islands of local sustainability. This is unfortunate as cities and their districts are fully dependent on surrounding environments. Failing to include a holistic approach into the local planning increases the risk of sub-optimisation, future lock-ins and missed targets on a higher level. The aim of this study is to analyse whether the environmental and sustainability programme for Stockholm Royal Seaport, a new urban district in Stockholm, Sweden, can guide development of the district towards holistic ecological sustainability. By using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development a holistic template for an ecologically sustainable planet has been described, important sectors for the built environment have been identified and the environmental and sustainability programme for the district has been analysed. This study showed that the vision and operational goals put forward in the Stockholm Royal Seaport programme complies relatively well with the designed template. However, important deviations in all sectors but land use have been identified. These deviations arise in the translation process between theory and practice. The vision for the district and the implementation phase are not aligned due to too narrow a perspective of a sustainable urban district, lack of robust sustainability principles including use of such to identify key strategic questions. In addition to the lack of an all-embracing conceptual framework, there is also a lack of structures for cooperation between stakeholders and conflicts between local and regional agendas. Use of a unifying framework can describe desirable future scenarios where the local level does not contribute to violation of the universal sustainability principles and identify step-wise routes towards such scenarios. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

  • 20.
    Levy Franca, César
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Basile, George
    Arizona State University, USA.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Thompson, Anthony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Exploring the Nexus of Product-Service Systems, Business Models and Sustainability - a need for strategic and practical approaches2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Product-Service Systems (PSS) have been identified as potentially important for addressing sustainability challenges. However, progress has been relatively slow as regards realizing this potential, and a lack of practical approaches to the design of business models capable of supporting implementation of such PSS has been proposed as a partial reason. The aim of this study is to explore connections and the potential functional nexus between the three fields of PSS, Business Models and Sustainability, in pursuit of possible key enablers to further realization of the potential for sustainability-promoting PSS. A systematic review and analysis of the academic literature is performed. The review shows that, although a relatively new and unexplored endeavor, there is growing effort at the interface of the three fields. The review indicates that the main deficit so far is that the PSS and business model fields lack concrete guidelines and practical tools for how to embrace the sustainability dimension in a strategic way. Especially the strategic dimension emerges as a general finding from diverse sources as a potential key enabler for mutual benefits across the three fields. The study thus points to the need for research aiming at developing such guidelines and tools, and also at exploring case-based applications to create experiential knowledge, to fill the gaps in current theory and practice.

  • 21. Lindahl, Pia
    et al.
    Broman, Göran
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Material substitution and weight reduction as steps towards a sustainable disposable diaper2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Increasing market demands for 'sustainable products' has in the development of disposable diapers resulted in a focus on material substitution and weight reduction. In this study we have compared the strategic potential of these two approaches for development of the absorbing core of the product. The study indicates that regardless what strategy a company selects for reducing a products socio-ecological impact, both society and environment would benefit from a stronger focus on the long term goal of a sustainably product, instead of the milestones.

  • 22.
    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.

  • 23.
    Missimer, Merlina
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    A Strategic Approach to Social Sustainability - Part 2: A Principle-based Definition2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 42-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The vast and growing array of concepts, methods and tools in the sustainability field imply a need for a structuring and coordinating framework, including a unifying and operational definition of sustainability. One attempt at such framework began over 25 years ago and is now widely known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. However, as with the larger sustainability field, the social dimension of this framework has been found to not be sufficiently science-based and operational and thus in need of further development. In this two-part series an attempt at a science-based, operational definition of social sustainability is presented. In part 1 a systems-based approach to the social system was presented, based on extensive literature studies as well as conceptual modelling sessions using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development as the guiding structure. The focus of that study was on the essential aspects of the social system that need to be sustained, namely trust, common meaning, diversity, capacity for learning and capacity for self-organization. The aim of this second paper is to identify and present overriding mechanisms by which these aspects of the social system can be degraded, thereby finding exclusion criteria for re-design for sustainability. Further literature studies, conceptual modelling sessions and initial testing of this prototype with partners in academia, business and NGOs were performed. Based on the understanding of the essential aspects of the social system and the identified overriding mechanisms of degradation of these, a hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability by basic principles is presented. The proposed principles are that in a socially sustainable society, people are not subject to structural obstacles to: (1) health, (2) influence, (3) competence, (4) impartiality and (5) meaning-making. Overall, the two papers aim to provide a hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability, which is general enough to be applied irrespective of spatial and temporal constraints, but concrete enough to guide decision-making and monitoring. It is also a further development of the social dimension of the FSSD, which practitioners and researchers have requested for some time and can act as a support towards better integration of social sustainability in many other fields, e.g., sustainable product innovation, sustainable supply chain management, sustainable transport system development, and others.

  • 24.
    Missimer, Merlina
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    A Strategic Approach to Social Sustainability -Part 1: Exploring the Social System2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 32-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The vast and growing array of concepts, methods and tools in the sustainability field imply a need for a structuring and coordinating framework, including a unifying and operational definition of sustainability. One attempt at such framework began over 25 years ago and is now widely known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. However, as with the larger sustainability field, the social dimension of this framework has been found to not be sufficiently science-based and operational and thus in need of further development. In this two-part series an attempt at a science-based, operational definition of social sustainability is presented. In this paper (part one), a systems-based approach to the social system is presented, as a basis for presenting a zero-hypothesis of principles for social sustainability in part two. Extensive literature studies as well as conceptual modeling sessions were performed and the social system was examined from various angles – complex adaptive system studies, human needs theory and other social sciences, and insights from these fields were woven together. The whole work was structured and guided by the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. The focus of the study was on the essential aspects of the social system that need to be sustained (that cannot be systematically degraded) for it to be possible for people to meet their needs. These essential aspects were found to be trust, common meaning, diversity, capacity for learning and capacity for self-organization. Trust seems to be generally acknowledged to be the overriding aspect of a vital social system. A sense of common meaning is also stated by several authors as an important part of social capital and something that helps to keep a group or society together. Diversity is acknowledged as essential for resilience; in the human social system this can be interpreted as, e.g., diversity of personalities, ages, gender, skills. Capacity for learning and self-organization are also motivated from a resilience point of view by several authors. These results form a basis for the hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability presented in paper 2, which in turn is a step towards creating an enhanced support for strategic planning and innovation for sustainability.

  • 25.
    Missimer, Merlina
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    A Systems Perspective on ISO 260002014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since its publication in 2010, ISO 26000 has become the de-facto standard of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). While not a certifiable standard in ISO terms, but rather a guidance document, it has become the document many corporations use as their basis for CSR work. ISO 26000 claims that the objective of social responsibility is to contribute to sustainable development, using the Brundtland definition – development, which meets the needs the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – as the basis for sustainable development. However, the Brundtland definition, while commonly referred to, is not sufficiently concrete to give guidance for strategic planning and action in businesses, municipalities and society at large. Therefore it is helpful to supplement the Brundtland definition with a framework that allows for this concrete and strategic planning, e.g. the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). The FSSD is based on a principled definition of sustainability, defining social and ecological sustainability in more operational terms, and includes guidelines for how to contribute systematically and strategically to fulfillment of this definition. It is a transdisciplinary framework built on insights from systems thinking and has been continuously developed as well as used and improved in organizations all over the world for the last two decades. A particular recent development focus has been the social dimension of sustainability, with new insights based on the application of systems thinking to social systems having been recently presented. In this paper, these new insights are used to analyze and evaluate ISO 26000´s contribution to sustainability, highlighting both benefits and shortcomings of ISO 26000 from a social systems and strategic sustainable development perspective. Main points include that, while ISO 26000 is comprehensive in it´s scope and provides a vast achievement in terms of international consensus building around the essential issues in CSR, it is not based on a scientific understanding of social and ecological systems and is therefore a document highlighting current societal expectations rather than a document allowing organizations to innovate, plan, act and monitor long-term for sustainability. The paper further points out examples of aspects of sustainability that are likely to become issues in the future, but that are currently not covered by the ISO guidance. Finally, the paper points at research needed to explore more in detail in which ways ISO 26000 can support strategic working towards sustainability, and in which areas other tools are necessary.

  • 26.
    Missimer, Merlina
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Lessons from the field:A first evaluation of working with the elaborated social dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development2014In: Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2014 Symposium Proceedings / [ed] Birger Sevaldson and Peter Jones, Oslo, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Arguably, sustainability is the most complex challenge humanity has faced to date. Not only are the impacts of our behavior resulting in more and more sever repercussions, but we are also realizing that the causes of unsustainability are deeply embedded in the design of many of the systems we rely on. This means, of course, also, that solutions to the problem cannot be one-off ideas, but that strategic and systematic transformation of many of our systems is needed. Because of the necessity of the re-design of our economic and other man-made systems, it has been suggested that sustainability science should be considered a “science of design” (Miller 2011). Perhaps it can be considered one of the most “wicked” cases of design, as it needs to aim both for significant impact and a participatory approach to solve the challenge.

     

    One framework that approaches the sustainability challenge from a design angle is the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). Specifically, it is based on the idea of strategically and step-wise designing sustainability out of the systems we currently rely on. The FSSD is a trans-disciplinary framework built on insights from systems thinking and has been continuously developed for the last two decades. Its core is built on backcasting from principles of re-design for sustainability, which allows for wide-spread agreement on what sustainability means and allows for creativity within these constraints, so that each group or organization can create their own path towards sustainability within these constraints. The FSSD has been used in organizations all over the world to create real transformation towards sustainability.

     

    A particular recent development focus has been the social dimension of sustainability. Following the idea of sustainability as a design science, the development was based on a design research methodology (e.g Blessing and Chakrabarti 2009), which included a suggested new ‘prototype’ for the approach to social sustainability within the FSSD. Based on a systems approach to the social system, five new principles of social sustainability have been proposed (Missimer 2013, Missimer et al. 2013a, 2013b). This paper aims to contribute to the evaluation stage of the prototype and presents preliminary results of an evaluation based on field-work with the new social sustainability principles. Overall, a clearer definition of social sustainability is not just for theoretical purposes, but because without a clear theoretical concept, it is hard to strategically work towards social sustainability in practice.

    The data for evaluation comes from workshops that were run with sustainability professionals (also called practitioners) who use the FSSD in their work. In three workshops, the authors, as well as groups of sustainability professionals, used the new social sustainability principles to assess projects on their contribution to social sustainability. The workshops were followed by reflections by and interviews with the professionals assessing the usability of the new principles.

     

    Preliminary results indicate that it is indeed possible to use the newly proposed social sustainability principles in the manner intended and that the approach yields results that are valuable to the professional and the potential clients of these professionals. Integration with existing tools commonly used by the practitioners was possible, although further refinement of the designed tool prototypes will be needed.

     

    Practitioners reflected that the earlier approach to social sustainability lacked in clarity and the ability to structure other tools and concepts in the field. They reported that most practitioners designed their own way of working with social sustainability, which lead to confusion and undermined a common approach. They appreciated the more thorough and scientific approach to the social aspects presented in the new approach, which allowed for a common language and a more thorough assessment of contributions to un-sustainability. The practitioners also reported new insights regarding the use and connection to other tools and concepts in the field of social sustainability.

     

    However, challenges were expressed as regards the somewhat more difficult nature of the science behind the new approach and how this impacted the ease of working with the framework for practitioners. The paper ends with some reflections by the authors. In further research this preliminary evaluation will be expanded and built upon to facilitate continuous improvement and applicability of the FSSD.

  • 27. Missimer, Merlina
    et al.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Broman, Göran
    Sverdrup, Harald
    Exploring the possibility of a systematic and generic approach to social sustainability2010In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 18, no 10-11, p. 1107-1112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a growing need to understand how existing concepts and tools for sustainability relate to each other and to a robust, trans-disciplinary systems perspective for sustainability. As a response, a group of scientists, including some of the authors, have developed a framework based on backcasting from sustainability principles over the last 20 years – the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), also known as The Natural Step Framework. The intent of this study is to scrutinize the existing framework as regards its social dimension. The study demonstrates dichotomies and lack of robustness and proposes a way forward to make the social dimension of the FSSD more cohesive as well as operational.

  • 28. Ny, Henrik
    et al.
    Broman, Göran
    MacDonald, Jamie
    Yamamoto, Ryoichi
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Sustainable Management of Materials Products and Services – an Approach to Strategic LCA2004Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper outlines the need for a more structured and simplified Life Cycle Assessment approach – called Strategic LCA. It builds on a previously published and peer-reviewed methodology using backcasting from basic principles of socio-ecological sustainability. The idea is to simplify, not by excluding parts of the traditionally covered dimensions in this field, but by a new way of setting system boundaries. Rather than applying boundaries related to geographic regions, or fields of expertise, or particular impacts, all issues found to be relevant as regards achieving sustainability are taken into account. To that end, we use four previously published generic principles of socio-ecological sustainability for the scrutinizing of materials, products and services.

  • 29. Ny, Henrik
    et al.
    Hallstedt, Sophie
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Broman, Göran
    Introducing Templates for Sustainable Product Development: A Case Study of Televisions at the Matsushita Electric Group2008In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 12, no 4, p. 600-623Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have previously developed a method for sustainable product development (MSPD) based on backcasting from basic sustainability principles. The MSPD informs investigations of product-related social and ecological sustainability aspects throughout a concurrent engineering product development process.We here introduce “templates” for sustainable product development (TSPDs) as a complement. The idea is to help product development teams to arrive faster and more easily at an overview of the major sustainability challenges and opportunities of a product category in the early development phases. The idea is also to inform creative communication between top management, stakeholders, and product developers. We present this approach through an evaluation case study, in which the TSPDs were used for a sustainability assessment of televisions (TVs) at the Matsushita Electric Group.We study whether the TSPD approach has the ability to (1) help shift focus from gradual improvements of a selection of aspects in relation to past environmental performance of a product category to a focus on the remaining gap to a sustainable situation, (2) facilitate consensus among organizational levels about major sustainability challenges and potential solutions for a product category, and (3) facilitate continued dialogue with external sustainability experts, identifying improvements that are relevant for strategic sustainable development. Our findings indicate that the TSPD approach captures overall sustainability aspects of the life cycle of product categories and that it has the above abilities.

  • 30. Ny, Henrik
    et al.
    MacDonald, Jamie
    Broman, Göran
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Sustainability Constraints as System Boundaries: Introductory Steps Toward Stategic Life-Cycle Management2008In: Web-based green products life-cycle management systems: reverse supply-chain utilization / [ed] Wang, Hsiao-Fan, Hershey, USA: IGI Global: Information Science Reference , 2008Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable management of materials and products requires continuous evaluation of numerous complex social, ecological, and economic factors. Many tools and methods are emerging to support this. One of the most rigorous is life-cycle assessment (LCA). But LCAs often lack a sustainability perspective and bring about difficult trade-offs between specificity and depth, on the one hand, and comprehension and applicability, on the other. This article applies a framework for strategic sustainable development to foster a new general approach to the management of materials and products, here termed “strategic life-cycle management.” This includes informing the overall analysis with aspects that are relevant to a basic perspective on (1) sustainability, and (2) strategy to arrive at sustainability. Early experiences indicate that the resulting overview could help avoiding costly assessments of flows and practices that are not critical from a sustainability and/or strategic perspective and help identifying strategic knowledge gaps that need further assessment.

  • 31.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    The policy-science nexus: An area for improved competence in leadership2012In: Sustainability: The Journal of Record, ISSN 1937-0695, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 165-171Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is a fantastic experience to understand basic principles for worthy goals together-across disciplinary, professional, and ideological boundaries-and to realize that we need each other in order to attain those goals. Conversely, it is sobering that so few of our leaders know how to build full sustainability into their decision making, and to shape their analyses, debates, action programs, stakeholder alliances, economies, and summit meetings accordingly. That deficiency is reflected in the questions put to scientists, who are often caught in the middle of conflicting policy proposals. On such occasions, empirical facts may be presented out of context and applied as arguments for alternative solutions: for or against the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, for or against nuclear power, etc. This results in attempts to deal with one issue at a time, often creating a new sustainability problem while "solving" another. Strategic planning toward sustainability is not something that you simply pick up as you go along, if only you are sufficiently engaged in public debate, have a certain field of expertise, or remain faithful to a certain ideology. What is needed today are decision makers who are open to learning the crucial competence of strategic planning and the language that goes with it-a language that makes multi-sectoral collaboration possible at the scale required for success. Only then can leaders make their leadership relevant, cooperate effectively across discipline and sector boundaries; and only then can they ask the relevant questions of scientists and other experts. This is not incompatible with a strong economy or with competitiveness. It is just the opposite: We are now experiencing increasing costs and lost opportunities due to lack of competence in strategic sustainable development. Such competence is not incompatible with the freedom to embrace different values and ideologies, or with the creative tensions that may arise from the confrontation of such values and ideologies with each other. On the contrary, the potential value of creative tensions increases when they are not rooted in lack of knowledge and misunderstandings.

  • 32.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Borén, Sven
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    A strategic approach to sustainable transport system development - Part 1: attempting a generic community planning process model2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 53-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Electric vehicles seem to offer a great potential for sustainable transport development. The Swedish pioneer project GreenCharge Southeast is designed as a cooperative action research approach that aims to explore a roadmap for a fossil-free transport system by 2030 with a focus on electric vehicles. It is the following combination of objectives that puts demand on a new process model adapted for cross-sector and cross-disciplinary cooperation: (i) a fossil-free transport system in Sweden by 2030 and, to avoid sub-optimizations in the transport sector, (ii) assuring that solutions that support (i) also serve other aspects of sustainability in the transport sector and, to avoid that sustainable solutions in the transport sector block sustainable solutions in other sectors, (iii) assuring cohesive creativity across sectors and groups of experts and stakeholders. The new process model was applied in an action-research mode for the exploration of electric vehicles within a fully sustainable transport system to test the functionality of the model in support of its development. To deliver on the above combination of objectives, a framework was needed with principles for sustainability that are universal for any sector as boundary conditions for redesign, and with guidelines for how any organization or sector can create economically feasible step- by-step transition plans. The Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) is designed to serve such purposes and therefore is embedded into the new process model. The exploration of this new model also helped to identify four interdependent planning perspectives (‘Resource base’, ‘Spatial’, ‘Technical’ and ‘Governance’) that should be represented by the respective experts and stakeholders using the model. In general, the new process model proved helpful by giving diverse stakeholders with various competences and representing various planning perspectives a common, robust, and easy-to- understand goal and a way of working that was adequate for each of their contexts. Furthermore, the evolving process model likely is relevant and useful not only for transport planning and electric vehicles, but for any other societal sector as well and thus for sustainable community planning in general. 

  • 33.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. Blekinge Inst Technol, Dept Strateg Sustainable Dev, S-37179 Karlskrona, Sweden..
    Prisoners' dilemma misleads business and policy making2017In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 10-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The prisoners' dilemma is a game-theoretical construct about trust. It can be seen as a simple version of the 'tragedy of the commons', which is often used in the sustainability context as a metaphor for the tension between responsibility for common resources and the perceived self-benefit to individual organizations, regions or nations who neglect such responsibility in the short term. However, other game theory and developments in sustainability science imply that the prisoners' dilemma mind-set is delusive and misleading for both business and policy making. It helps obscure an even more important aspect of proactive leadership for sustainability: the potential self-benefit of understanding the dynamics of major system change better than one's 'competitors'. The UN 1972,1992; and 2012 summits on sustainability, as well as the many summits on climate change, have been valuable milestones for influencing societal leadership at all levels. However, due to the prisoners' dilemma mind-set, they have also indirectly helped reinforce the idea that sustainability only pays off if the costs of achieving it are shared by all. That, in turn, has encouraged decision makers to believe that 'our organization's, region's or nation's sustainability activity must rely on policy making changing the rules of the game for everybody'. This focus on policy making as the only or main facilitator of sustainability efforts delays the needed transition of global society. By considering game theory such as tit-for-tat and modern systems science for sustainability, this paper illuminates major shortcomings of the prisoners' dilemma in the context of sustainability, and attempts to provide a more fruitful mind-set that can be motivated both theoretically and empirically. It is argued that a large part of the self-benefit of proactivity for sustainability is direct, i.e. independent of other actors' actions for the common good. In addition, it is argued that the self-benefit to businesses can be further increased through voluntary collaboration with other businesses to promote the common good, as well as through collaboration between proactive businesses and policy makers. Currently, none of this is intelligently and operationally part of mainstream leadership and public discourse on sustainability. The clarifications provided in this paper can lead to a much needed shift in mind-set among many leaders, not least political leaders, many of which seem to be trapped in simplistic prisoners' dilemma thinking and who act accordingly. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 34.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    et al.
    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.
    Basile, George
    Analyzing the concept of planetary boundaries from a strategic sustainability perspective: How does humanity avoid tipping the planet?2013In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 18, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, an approach for global sustainability, the planetary-boundary approach (PBA), has been proposed, which combines the concept of tipping points with global-scale sustainability indicators. The PBA could represent a significant step forward in monitoring and managing known and suspected global sustainability criteria. However, as the authors of the PBA describe, the approach faces numerous and fundamental challenges that must be addressed, including successful identification of key global sustainability metrics and their tipping points, as well as the coordination of systemic individual and institutional actions that are required to address the sustainability challenges highlighted. We apply a previously published framework for systematic and strategic development toward a robust basic definition of sustainability, i.e., the framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD), to improve and inform the PBA. The FSSD includes basic principles for sustainability, and logical guidelines for how to approach their fulfillment. It is aimed at preventing unsustainable behavior at both the micro, e.g., individual firm, and macro, i.e., global, levels, even when specific global sustainability symptoms and metrics are not yet well understood or even known. Whereas the PBA seeks to estimate how far the biosphere can be driven away from a "normal" or "natural" state before tipping points are reached, because of ongoing violations of basic sustainability principles, the FSSD allows for individual planners to move systematically toward sustainability before all impacts from not doing so, or their respective tipping points, are known. Critical weaknesses in the PBA can, thus, be overcome by a combined approach, significantly increasing both the applicability and efficacy of the PBA, as well as informing strategies developed in line with the FSSD, e.g., by providing a "global warning system" to help prioritize strategic actions highlighted by the FSSD. Thus, although ongoing monitoring of known and suspected global sustainability metrics and their possible tipping points is a critical part of the evolving sustainability landscape, effective and timely utilization of planetary-boundary information on multiple scales requires coupling to a strategic approach that makes the underlying sustainability principles explicit and includes strategic guidelines to approach them. Outside of such a rigorous and systems-based context, the PBA, even given its global scale, risks leading individual organizations or planners to (i) focus on "shares" of, e.g., pollution within the PBs and negotiations to get as high proportion of such as possible, and/or (ii) awaiting data on PBs when such do not yet exist before they act, and/or (iii) find it difficult to manage uncertainties of the data once such have arrived. If global sustainability problems are to be solved, it is important that each actor recognizes the benefits, not the least self-benefits, of designing and executing strategies toward a principled and scientifically robust definition of sustainability. This claim is not only based on theoretical reasoning. A growing number of sectors, businesses, and municipalities/cities around the world are already doing it, i.e., not estimating "allowed" shares of, say fossil CO2 emissions, but gradually moving away from unsustainable use of fossil fuels and other unsustainable practices altogether.

  • 35.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Waldron, David
    Ny, Henrik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Cook, David
    Johansson, Lena
    Oldmark, Jonas
    Basile, George
    Haraldsson, Hördur V.
    Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability2004Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Master's programme named "Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability" is offered at the Blekinge Institute of Technology (Blekinge Tekniska Högskola) in Karlskrona, Sweden. This Master's programme builds on four central themes: (1) four scientific principles for socio-ecological sustainability; (2) a planning methodology of "backcasting" based on those scientific principles for sustainability; (3) a five-level model for planning in complex systems, into which backcasting is incorporated as a strategy; and (4) the understanding that within basic scientific constraints, creativity is allowed and encouraged. This course book focuses mainly on the description of a structured approach to sustainable development and is the primary reference for the Master's programme within this scope. The text revolves around a generic, structured model for planning and decision-making in any complex system, recognizing that the key focus for sustainability, human society within the biosphere, is inherently a complex system. As such, the text describes five essential system levels including: (i) the system; (ii) success; (iii) strategy; (iv) actions and (v) tools. Within this 5-level model, the approach “backcasting from principles of socio-ecological sustainability” provides a solid basis for strategic sustainable development. With respect to the second theme, the textbook emphasises that the basic constraints required by the structured approach (the 5-level model, backcasting, and scientific principles of sustainability) actually serve to promote creativity in ways that are productive and complementary to the goal of sustainability. Chapters 6-13, in particular, explore how this approach spurs innovation toward sustainable development in a number of selected disciplines (e.g. organisational learning, strategic business planning, industrial ecology, product development). Course Book Chapter Layout The introduction chapter presents all the core elements of the planning methodology named "Backcasting from Basic Socio-Ecological Principles of Sustainability". Part 1, of the book, containing the first four chapters, covers the next circle and goes deeper into the core elements without losing the overall structure. Part 2, containing the following nine chapters, takes a third, yet deeper, look at some related disciplines like basic science, social sustainability, organisational learning and change, industrial ecology, etc. (Circle 3). The whole idea of Backcasting from Principles is to create a meaningful structure of the overview, and only then tackle the details on a higher and higher degree of detail.

  • 36.
    Robèrt, Karl-Henrik
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Göran, Broman
    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.
    Byggeth, Sophie
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Missimer, Merlina
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Connel, Tamara
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Moore, Brendan
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Waldron, David
    Cook, David
    Oldmark, Jonas
    Sustainability Handbook2012Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Today"s society is faced with a multitude of compounding and inter-related socio-ecological challenges. In order to adequately navigate this 'sustainability challenge" and to capture the innovation opportunities that come with it, we need professionals from all sectors of society who can help plan, act, and lead strategically towards sustainability. Sustainability handbook first outlines a structured approach to planning within this complex challenge, which is known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. It provides the readers with fundamental social and ecological knowledge from which a scientifically-derived definition of sustainability has been established. From there, the book shares examples of how this Framework can be applied in a variety of situations, sectors, and scales and points to the self-benefit for companies, municipalities and other organizations of working strategically for sustainability. The readers are left with a solid understanding of how to define sustainability, how to plan and act towards it, and how to select from the vast array of sustainability-related concepts, methods and tools in the field today. Sustainability handbook combines the academic and practical experience from a collection of authors. The content has been used, tested and refined over many iterations, and now serves as a primary resource for academic courses and programmes around the world. Any student or practitioner looking for more clarity on how to strategically plan and act towards sustainability in a structured, scientific, and collaborative manner will find value inside. Because of the generic nature of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, it can be useful for any discipline, from engineering, to product-service innovation, to business management, to urban and regional planning, and beyond.

1 - 36 of 36
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