MePSS Webtool - Tool (Level 4)

Worksheet W14 - Identification of activities with highest SD impact
Table of Contents
1. Objective
2. Putting into Practice
3. Implementation
4. Software, templates and other support
5. Call on Resources
6. Literature, examples and background information

Objective Table of Contents
The objective of this tool is to highlight actors and activities that have most relevance in the sustainability performance of the PSS.

Putting into Practice Table of Contents

2.1 When and why should this tool be used?

This tool can be used both during the “Exploring Opportunities” phase (after a first brainstorm of ideas during a design workshop) to visualise the first qualitative results and during the “PSS Idea Development” phase to visualise the quantitative results of a Life Cycle Analysis. The tool can be seen as an add on to the System Map tool (Worksheet 19).

2.2 Who should use this tool?

This tool should be used by the PSS champion (Exploring Opportunities) or/and assessment experts (PSS Idea Development) to plot the results of their analysis in a way that makes it easier to communicate around.

Implementation Table of Contents

3.1 How should this tool be used?

In order to represent the ideas generated for a new PSS offer, a System Map (see worksheet 19) will have been developed. For the sustainability assessment this tool is a good starting point, as it provides an overview over the different service and product flows between the relevant actors.

An example for the meal subscription system is presented below in Figure 1.

Figure 1 mapping issues that can potentially become cost factors on the life cycle

Each product and service flow has its production system, since services also need to be produced. For products, the production chain often starts with the extraction of raw materials. For services, the production system often includes the transport of people, the use of offices, web servers and other inputs needed to provide a service. Often service providers also use and consume products, as a means to provide the service. However, these products never reach the customer, but are also part of the system. To create a full picture of the complete lifecycle, we should also add then process chains needed to deliver, use and dispose of the products.

Overall we get a lifecycle of the PSS, albeit that in fact there will not be one lifecycle, but a number of individual lifecycles that are associated with the product service system.

The procedure for extending the System Map to the total lifecycle has some similarities with the Lifecycle Assessment Methodology described in other tools. The best people to provide data on this extension of the perimeter boundaries are the stakeholders and the suppliers of the stakeholders. When suppliers are not known, or not accessible, for instance because resources are bought from the world market, generic information sources, such as encyclopaedia, market studies and LCA databases can be used.

For instance if wood is used, a clear distinction can be made between certified and non-certified wood, without knowing the supplier. How much data is collected depends on the relative importance of the indicator and there is no way to generalise this relative importance. Common sense and experience should guide this process.

The main application of this extended system map is to try to identify where in this set of lifecycles potential sustainability issues can occur. One way to do this is to plot the most important sustainability indicators on these lifecycles in order to get an overview. In figure 2 we have added a few examples of possible issues.

Figure 2 mapping issues that can potentially become cost factors on the life cycle

3.2 Result

The result should be a diagram such as the one above.

The overview created with this tool can be used in many ways; it provides the first level of lifecycle thinking for product service systems. This lifecycle thinking is a very important input to the Screening LCA (Worksheet 11a) and/or the Simplified Interpretation Method for LCA (Worksheet 11b).

These results can be fed as an input to the tool on Sustainability Design-Orienting (SDO) tool (Worksheet 18).

3.3 Input needed/ data required/ data acquisition process

  • Existing information and studies over environmental, social and economic issues related to the prioritised issues, actors and activities. Focus on easily collectable information;
  • Experts on any of the three sustainability dimensions;
  • Good knowledge of the product-service chain, with emphasis on suppliers, use/service and after use/service activities;
  • System map.

Software, templates and other support Table of Contents

4.1 Software

This tool does not require the use of any software.

4.2 Templates and other support

Use the System Map (Worksheet 19) diagrams and add the environmental aspects.

Call on Resources Table of Contents

5.1 Personnel and time needed

The time and number of people needed depends on the context of the project. The minimum amount of time needed is 2 to 3 hours.

Literature, examples and background information Table of Contents

6.1 Methodological References

Excerpt from “Toolkit for the people, planet and profit assessment of product service systems”, Mark Goedkoop and Carmen Alvarado.