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