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  • 1. Bratt, Cecilia
    Assessment of Eco-Labelling and Green Procurement from a Strategic Sustainability Perspective2011Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Efforts to reduce negative impacts from consumption and production include voluntary market-based initiatives. Examples are the concept of eco-labelling and the concept of green procurement. These have emerged as policy instruments with great potentials to steer product innovation and purchasing decisions in a sustainable direction. This potential has been recognized by the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and national governments through, e.g., various programmes and schemes. The aim of this thesis is to assess current criteria development processes within eco-labelling and green procurement from a strategic sustainability perspective and to describe possible improvement potentials from such a perspective to make these instruments more supportive of sustainable product and service innovation. A previously published framework for strategic sustainable development, including a definition of sustainability and generic guidelines to inform strategies towards sustainability, is adapted and used for this purpose. Criteria development processes in two Swedish eco-labelling programmes and at a governmental expert body for green procurement are studied. This includes interviews with criteria developers, studies of process documents and a case study at the governmental expert body for green procurement in which two criteria development processes were shadowed. The result reveals several strengths but also gaps and thus potentials for improvement. The criteria development processes and the resulting criteria mostly concern the current market supply and a selection of current environmental impacts outside the context of long-term objectives. Neither sustainability nor any other clearly defined long-term objective is agreed upon, and the criteria are not structured to support procurers, suppliers and product developers in a systematic and strategic stepwise approach towards sustainability. Recommended improvements include a more thorough sustainability assessment, communication of clearer objectives, broader competence in the criteria development groups and more emphasis on the dialogue and interaction between key actors. This includes an extended view on both the product concept and actors involved. Based on this, a new criteria development prototype is suggested, which aims at widening the scope from some currently known product impacts to the remaining gap to sustainability. During its further development and implementation, the criteria development prototype will be tested in successive iterations of action research together with experienced practitioners within eco-labelling and green procurement.

  • 2. Bratt, Cecilia
    Eco-labelling criteria development for strategic life cycle management2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To accelerate the transition towards a sustainable society, changes in consumption and production decisions are crucial. Eco-labelling type I is an instrument with a potential to create incentives for changes towards strategic life cycle management along value chains to achieve products that aid society's compliance with sustainability principles. But the mere existence of this instrument is not enough to utilize this potential. In a previous study, applying a Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development as a foundation for the analysis, we have pointed at deficiencies in theory and process of eco-labelling which hamper cohesiveness, transparency and comprehension. In this paper, we present a prototype criteria development process and discuss it in relation to current processes. From this comparison we conclude that the new criteria development process has the potential to support strategic life cycle management

  • 3.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Integrating a Strategic Sustainability Perspective into Eco-Labelling, Procurement and Supply Chain Management2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Maintaining the current course of the global society is threatening the human civilization. The urgency of the situation, understood from empirical research, has caused many researchers to call for more prescriptive research as a necessary supplement, to better support decision making for sustainability. While policymakers need to direct and stimulate sustainable production and consumption through, e.g., legislation and market phenomena such as eco-labelling, business represents a significant proportion of the necessary resources, capabilities and mechanisms for the innovation needed for a transition towards sustainability. However, while businesses more and more realize the self-interest in working proactively with sustainability, there is a desire for better support for how to do this also from this end. Such support needs to consider a significant shift going on in business; that individual businesses tend to no longer compete as autonomous entities, but rather as supply chains. Thus, no company is more sustainable than its supply chain partners. Therefore, sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) as a business function, and sustainable procurement as a subset thereof, plays an increasingly pivotal role for sustainable development. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to sustainable development by studying how three phenomena; eco-labelling, procurement and supply chain management are related to each other and to a strategic sustainability perspective, and to suggest how these phenomena can be integrated with such a perspective to provide better support for decision making and innovation for sustainability. For this purpose, a framework for strategic sustainable development, including a definition of sustainability and generic guidelines to inform stepwise strategic plans towards sustainability, is used as a foundational methodology. The development of new approaches is also based on case studies with eco-labelling and sustainable public procurement bodies, businesses and public institutions. Information is collected by shadowing of criteria development and collaboration processes, interviews and literature studies. While the findings point to a clear rational for all of the phenomena and several strengths in existing schemes and practices, the findings also point to several shortcomings. Sustainability is not defined, and as a result, there is no foundation for strategic and proactive approaches. Furthermore, decisions are not based on considerations of all dimensions of sustainability, the whole life cycle of products, all relevant stakeholders and a long-term perspective. As a result, the full potential of these phenomena for contributing to sustainable development is not utilized. This thesis prescribes enhanced processes for eco-labelling, sustainable procurement and SSCM, and shows how these can support organisations in developing from reacting individually on known sustainability-related problems to acting proactively and collaboratively in supply chains, in a coordinated and economically viable way, on society’s remaining gap to the full scope of ecological and social sustainability.

  • 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.
    Gould, Rachael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Svensson, Martin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Broman, Göran
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Shrinking and scaffolding: supporting behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design2018In: Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To start to include sustainability in a design project is a transition. This transition requires change in how people do things, that is, behaviour change, and it takes place in the midst of the usual pressures of product design. Prior research on sustainable design has mostly explored the so-called technical side – identifying what tasks should be performed, such as specifics of including sustainability criteria when analysing product concepts. Recent studies have advocated the consideration of the human nature of the people who are to implement these ‘technical’ tasks, to undergo and drive the transition.

    We therefore embarked on an action research project to support behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design in the individual members of design project teams. Our action research partner was a design consultancy who wanted to begin working with sustainable design. Our research question was: How might the partner organisation support individual behaviour change towards implementing sustainable design?

    Firstly, we identified some barriers to behaviour change; these barriers were related to motivation, capability and opportunity to apply sustainable design. Secondly, to investigate how to address the barriers and support individual behaviour change, we integrated concepts on behaviour change, motivation, learning for sustainability and climate communication to form a conceptual system (a theoretical model). In parallel, we undertook a participatory action research project with the consultancy, where we iteratively and collaboratively employed our model to develop ideas for specific actions that the organisation could take. We also tried out some of these actions and observed the outcomes.

    We learnt that it is important to not just define what ‘technical’ tasks project teams should ideally perform, but to also scaffold the journey as a series of simpler steps. Shrinking the ‘technical’ tasks into meaningful steps that are within reach helps individuals to feel confident and competent, which in turn leads to increased intrinsic motivation and behaviour change. Progressively achieving small steps aligned with their values reduces the risk of dissonance and denial, and therefore increases the potential for action.

    In this article, we present our model and our learnings.

  • 8.
    Gould, Rachael K
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development. Blekinge Institute of Technology.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Lagun Mesquita, Patricia
    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.
    Integrating sustainable development and design-thinking-based product design2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this research was to integrate sustainable development and design-thinking-based product design in order that the product design then contributes to society’s transition to a sustainable future. This is an important pursuit since product lifecycles are a major cause of society’s current sustainability challenges. To address this, many authors argue for integrating sustainable development into existing design processes rather than developing stand-alone tools and methods.Through action research with a design consultancy who wanted to start working with sustainable product design, we iterated between three stages: understanding needs, designing action, and trying out the action. The first stage comprised document analysis, focus-group style workshops, a survey and interviews. When designing the actions (enhancements to their design-thinking-based process), we drew on literature on sustainable product design, decision-making for sustainability, and organisational learning and change for sustainability. We also drew on our research partners’ practical experience. The enhanced process was tried out and further developed through feedback, student testing and co-development meetings.The result is an enhanced process where project teams (i) use the outcomes from the inspiration phase of the existing process to choose sustainable design strategies that are relevant for their particular project. Once the teams have chosen which strategies to work with, for example, design for remanufacture, we suggest that they (ii) use the strategies to develop ideation foci/questions that help them explore the design space. The third enhancement is for teams to (iii) compare concepts with respect to sustainability as part of their concept comparison and evaluation.

  • 9.
    Gould, Rachael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Lagun Mesquita, Patricia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Bratt, Cecilia
    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.
    Why choose one sustainable design strategy over another: A decision-support prototype2017In: DS87-5 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 21ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN (ICED 17), VOL 5: DESIGN FOR X, DESIGN TO X / [ed] Van der Loos M.,Salustri F.,Oehmen J.,Fadel G.,Kokkolaras M.,Maier A.M.,Skec S.,Kim H., The Design Society, 2017, Vol. 5, p. 111-120, article id DS87-5Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable design strategies provide tangible ways for integrating sustainability into early phaseproduct design work. Examples include design for remanufacturing and design for the base of thepyramid. There are many such strategies and it is difficult to choose between them. Sustainable productdesign activities also need to be tailored to business priorities. We therefore designed a decision-supportprototype to aid project teams to choose strategies based on relevance to the project in terms of bothbusiness and sustainability value. To design the prototype, we first identified potential strategies fromsustainable product development literature. We then used literature on each of six selected strategies toidentify potential business and sustainability benefits. We developed a way to compare sustainabilityvalue based on a scientifically established definition of sustainability and a lifecycle perspective. Theprototype is designed to be usable by practitioners who are not necessarily sustainable design experts.The prototype was created to enable future work to test ways to integrate the selection of sustainabledesign strategies into the early phases of product design.

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