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An integrated diagnostic tool for identifying and quantifying the opportunities for sustainable consumption and production in industry

Dobes, V. LU (2016) In Journal of Cleaner Production 135. p.567-576
Abstract

A new, integrated, diagnosis tool in the field of industrial sustainability management named the ‘Initial Review for Sustainable Consumption and Production.’ was developed and tested. Most of the existing tools for an initial diagnosis and for identification of suitable interventions in this area have some of the following drawbacks: a. they are incomplete because they do not address all levels of the management pyramid; b. they are qualitative and miss many of the important opportunities for company improvements; c. they are tool-driven. By being tool-driven they are weak because the tools are often used without questioning the specific company's needs. These limiting features of process improvement tools can cause a company to invest... (More)

A new, integrated, diagnosis tool in the field of industrial sustainability management named the ‘Initial Review for Sustainable Consumption and Production.’ was developed and tested. Most of the existing tools for an initial diagnosis and for identification of suitable interventions in this area have some of the following drawbacks: a. they are incomplete because they do not address all levels of the management pyramid; b. they are qualitative and miss many of the important opportunities for company improvements; c. they are tool-driven. By being tool-driven they are weak because the tools are often used without questioning the specific company's needs. These limiting features of process improvement tools can cause a company to invest its limited resources inappropriately. However, because the ‘New Initial Review’ approach was based on ‘systems theory’ and ‘learning theory,’ it has properties of a holistic, quantifiable and ‘need-driven’ approach. By ‘need-driven’ is meant that selection of the tool or intervention is based on analysis of company's specific needs and potentials for improvement. Pilot testing of the new approach performed in 57 companies documented that the characteristics of the new Integrated Diagnostic Tool are important for orienting enterprise leaders to carefully select the appropriate tools from among the growing number of voluntary tools, to use in their company. The application of this need-driven diagnostic tool resulted in effective identification and efficient exploration of potentials improvements in Sustainable Consumption and Production, which had been hidden within the enterprise management pyramid; some of which started within the enterprise governing levels including relationships with stakeholders and going through management systems and processes to complete life cycle of the products. The research shows importance of a good diagnosis for effectiveness of interventions in area of Sustainable Consumption and Production in industry and discuss related drivers and barriers. Among interesting research findings is high and relatively easily accessible potential for improvements related to relationship with stakeholders or difficulties related to exploration of improvement potential existing at the level of product life cycle. Presented research also justifies a need to further work on development of need driven diagnosis in this area and provides a theoretical framework to do so.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cleaner production, Design for sustainability, Holistic assessment, Initial review, Potential for improvement, Sustainable consumption and production
in
Journal of Cleaner Production
volume
135
pages
10 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84990252939
  • wos:000382792900049
ISSN
0959-6526
DOI
10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.140
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4a50a767-c18f-49a9-8e1a-3f3249b195de
date added to LUP
2016-10-20 12:07:29
date last changed
2017-06-18 04:59:15
@article{4a50a767-c18f-49a9-8e1a-3f3249b195de,
  abstract     = {<p>A new, integrated, diagnosis tool in the field of industrial sustainability management named the ‘Initial Review for Sustainable Consumption and Production.’ was developed and tested. Most of the existing tools for an initial diagnosis and for identification of suitable interventions in this area have some of the following drawbacks: a. they are incomplete because they do not address all levels of the management pyramid; b. they are qualitative and miss many of the important opportunities for company improvements; c. they are tool-driven. By being tool-driven they are weak because the tools are often used without questioning the specific company's needs. These limiting features of process improvement tools can cause a company to invest its limited resources inappropriately. However, because the ‘New Initial Review’ approach was based on ‘systems theory’ and ‘learning theory,’ it has properties of a holistic, quantifiable and ‘need-driven’ approach. By ‘need-driven’ is meant that selection of the tool or intervention is based on analysis of company's specific needs and potentials for improvement. Pilot testing of the new approach performed in 57 companies documented that the characteristics of the new Integrated Diagnostic Tool are important for orienting enterprise leaders to carefully select the appropriate tools from among the growing number of voluntary tools, to use in their company. The application of this need-driven diagnostic tool resulted in effective identification and efficient exploration of potentials improvements in Sustainable Consumption and Production, which had been hidden within the enterprise management pyramid; some of which started within the enterprise governing levels including relationships with stakeholders and going through management systems and processes to complete life cycle of the products. The research shows importance of a good diagnosis for effectiveness of interventions in area of Sustainable Consumption and Production in industry and discuss related drivers and barriers. Among interesting research findings is high and relatively easily accessible potential for improvements related to relationship with stakeholders or difficulties related to exploration of improvement potential existing at the level of product life cycle. Presented research also justifies a need to further work on development of need driven diagnosis in this area and provides a theoretical framework to do so.</p>},
  author       = {Dobes, V.},
  issn         = {0959-6526},
  keyword      = {Cleaner production,Design for sustainability,Holistic assessment,Initial review,Potential for improvement,Sustainable consumption and production},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  pages        = {567--576},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Cleaner Production},
  title        = {An integrated diagnostic tool for identifying and quantifying the opportunities for sustainable consumption and production in industry},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.06.140},
  volume       = {135},
  year         = {2016},
}