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Cleaner Production Magazine
Available online December 28, 2022
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This document develops guidelines for incorporating systems thinking principles into sustainability assessment tools for use in the early stages of sustainable business model (SBM) innovation. Describing the sustainability of business model innovations is often done without robust assessments and without considering the broader system in which they are embedded. In particular, the lack of quantitative data, time and skills at the start of the innovation process poses a problem. To overcome this, methods can be employed that indicate future impacts and principles of use consistent with consistent principles of life cycle assessment and risk modeling. system integration. . This article presents the principles of systems thinking, illustrates its role in the context of innovation in EDA, and discusses its integration into three selected early sustainability assessment tools. Design guidelines are proposed to effectively integrate these principles into tools for sustainability assessment at the initial stage of EDA. The article shows how incorporating systems thinking into SBM innovation process tools can reduce unintended consequences and negative trade-offs and better understand the sustainability of the initiative.
The concept of Sustainable Business Models (SBM) has received extensive attention in both research and practice, with significant public funding contributing to the development of various SBM programs in recent years. SBMs are generally seen as a way to generate income, reduce the overall environmental impact of a business or service, and/or increase its social benefits (Kaplan, 2012; Løkke et al., 2020; Lüdeke-Freund et al., 2018; Schaltegger et al., 2016). Despite this fundamental goal of moving the company towards greater social and environmental sustainability, one of the main challenges associated with SBM innovations remains to assess their impact.
Proposals that focus on integrating and evaluating economic, social, and environmental sustainability in EDA are relatively few, and Bocken et al. (2016) to confirm this."It is currently unknown what potential positive (or negative) impact these new business models could have."(p. 4). A crucial element in assessing the sustainability of new business models is recognizing the interconnectedness of business activities within the organization, while recognizing that a business model is connected to and influenced by other initiatives within a larger system ( Boons and Bocken, 2018). ; Bocken et al., 2019). A systems perspective and system understanding are considered extremely important when innovating for sustainable business models (Løkke et al., 2020; Mortensen and Kørnøv, 2019). This is due to the intertwining of social problems:“If we look at the state of the world today, what is particularly striking is that the major issues of our time – energy, environment, climate change, food security, financial security – cannot be viewed in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are all interconnected and interdependent.”(Capra y Luisi, 2014, p. 362).
The term "systems thinking" describes a holistic approach to individual business initiatives, in which they are analyzed based on their systemic (internal and external) effects on a company. If systemic effects beyond corporate boundaries are not accounted for, SBMs can be assessed without regard to dependencies that exist within increasingly complex value chains, which can lead to inconspicuous sustainability assessments and, often limited. If the stakeholders involved in business model development do not critically assess the broader potential positive and negative contributions to sustainability, a business model can lead to unwanted trade-offs and be misperceived as sustainable. In some cases, limited sustainability assessments can even lead to greenwashing."[...] misleading communication about activities or environmental performance"(Bowen and Aragón-Correa, 2014, p. 107).
Systems thinking and its principles are widely applied in sustainability management research (Williams et al., 2017) and are particularly recognized for explaining the importance of contextual boundaries of AED innovations (Shakeel et al., 2020). .
The application of systems thinking theory to business model innovation can be explored in a number of ways: brainstorming techniques are based on simple models, while more complex applications involve building formal models, complex diagrams, and statistical knowledge (Alter, 2011). However, researchers such as Alter (2011) call for new and simple tools for sustainable business model innovation (SBMI) based on systems thinking, that is, tools that are accessible to practitioners and thus can help guarantee a systemic vision of the SBMs and their associated sustainability. This is particularly important in the early stages of SBM innovation, where the details of possible solutions are not decided. However, research on SBM innovation is scarce when it comes to providing direct tools that integrate systems thinking into their design.
Bhatnagar et al. (2022) highlights, but at the same time argues, the systems perspective as a central principle for the design of ODA sustainability assessment tools."Most of the methods and tools still go to the boundaries of the organization"and that should be future research"investigate how to take interorganizational or social boundaries into account"(Pieroni et al., 2019, S. 210).
To fill this research and indication gap, this study examines selected tools for SBM innovation. It explores how the principles of systems thinking can be used in the creation of tools for innovation in BM and provides guidelines for future easy-to-use sustainability assessment tools.
The study is based on the following research question:What guidelines should be followed when incorporating systems thinking in the design of tools for early-stage EDA innovation?
To this end, it examines how sustainability assessment tools should stimulate systems thinking and what lessons can be learned from their inclusion in the early stages of innovation in EDA.
Therefore, this article starts from the theory of systems thinking and combines it with an analysis of practical operationalizations as suggested by Alter (2011). Systems thinking theory is historically based on a structural-functionalist ontology, which is sometimes criticized for its intrinsic lack of change orientation (Geels, 2010). By providing guidelines for integrating systems thinking principles into SBMI's initial sustainability assessment tools, we intend to operationalize the abstract principles of systems thinking and show how they can facilitate change.
The results show that systems thinking can help to assess the sustainability of SBMs in the early phases of the innovation process. The review highlights that this can be possible by designing appropriate tools, and eight design guidelines are recommended: (1) define scope, (2) design for collaboration, (3) incorporate the principle of "connections", ( 4) ) Integrate the principle of "causal relationships and feedback loops", (5) Integrate the principle of "change and adapt the system", (6) Consider the dimensions of sustainability, (7) Ensure the flexibility of integration and (8) Ensure compatibility with other assessment tools.
The article is structured as follows. In section 2, the state of the art presents three core principles of systems thinking and develops existing systemic perspectives on EDA management and research. Section 3 describes the methodology. Section 4 first presents the implementation of ST principles in STEMI practice and the analysis of selected tools. Guidelines for integrating ST principles into early-stage sustainability assessment for AED innovations are discussed below. Section 5 contains final comments and suggestions for future avenues of research.
Systems thinking: theoretical starting point
Systems thinking (ST) is both a paradigm and a learning method (Senge, 1990) seen as a means of providing knowledge about systems that goes beyond basic modeling and includes elements of system dynamics (Senge, 1990; Richmond, 1994). or as a subset and "door opener" for the discipline of system dynamics (eg Forrester, 2010).
Systems thinking definitions tend to repeat certain elements (Arnold & Wade, 2015), including 1) interconnectedness and interrelationships
The three basic principles of the systems thinking concept described in the prior art (section 2) formed the basis for the analysis. Coward. 1 visualizes the application of ST principles in further analysis and the connection between the relevant sections of this article. The study on which this article is based consists of the following phases: 1) development of the state of the art, which feeds the subsequent phase 2) execution of the analysis and phase 3) results.
Translate the principles of systems thinking into elements for the evaluation of sustainability SBMI
"Some [systems thinking advocates] may dream of a society competent in computer modeling of complex systems."(Plate and Monroe, 2014, p. 3), but compared to the intensive practice of system dynamics carried out by"privileged and few", systems thinking can build"Ability to generate systemic insights"for a greater number of people (Richmond, 1994). ST can be seen as a subset of critical thinking skills, such as:Synergistic analytical skills used to enhance the ability
This article began with a fundamental challenge for practitioners involved in sustainable business model (SBM) innovation: ensuring that changes in a business activity lead to positive change in the sustainability of the overall system, and having easy-to-use tools. available at an early stage. innovation processes that allow their systematic consideration.
Translating the principles of systemic thinking into elements that can be identified within the innovation process for sustainable business models allowed us to differentiate ourselves
Contribution statement written by CRediT
Leonie Schuetter:Conception, methodology, validation, formal analysis, research, writing - original draft, writing - review and editing, visualization, supervision, project management.Cornflower solitaire:Conception, methodology, writing - original draft, supervision.Lucia Mortensen:Conception, methodology, writing - original draft.Soren Lökke:Conception, methodology, writing - original draft.Kasper Storr:Conceptualization, Writing - Correction and Edition.Ivar
Conflict of Interest Statement
The authors declare that they have no competing financial interests or known personal relationships that might influence the work described in this article.
The idea and content of the survey were inspired by participation in the "Sustainable Synergies" project, funded by the EU and operated by the AAU. The project was funded bythe National Operational Program for the European Regional Development Fund, 2014-2020. We would also like to thank the Port of Aalborg for co-financing so muchIS aid projectand the doctoral project to which this article belongs. Thanks to Anton Malmkjær Møller for his contribution to graphic design.
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A massive increase in the consumption of single-use plastic has led to runaway plastic pollution of land and sea. Currently, waste management systems do not have sufficient capacity to safely dispose of plastic waste. In addition to the myriad of negative environmental impacts of improperly managing plastic waste, both domestically and in the oceans, plastics that are landfilled represent a significant recoverable energy footprint that is disposed of after a single use or with a very short useful life. The recovery of these materials could reduce your carbon footprint by replacing the production of virgin plastic. The goal of this research is to develop a framework for the circular economy of plastics that incorporates critical technological, economic, and political constraints to help decision makers compare end-of-life options and make investment decisions. In addition to implementing metrics to measure circularity, the framework uses life cycle analysis to compare the environmental impact of opportunities to improve circularity in the plastics economy. A case study of recycling polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from 2020 to 2049 shows that chemical recycling through glycolysis, together with improved collection systems through recycling centers, will significantly improve the roundness of PET bottles. and will reduce the carbon footprint by displacing new PET manufacturing. While incineration has better circularity potential than recycling due to landfill diversion, it results in a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the incineration process.
Investigation articleDiversification of an integrated livestock system: evaluation of agroecological and agrifood production
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Mixed production systems are interesting for the search for sustainability due to the diversity of species and potential synergies in the integration of crops and livestock. However, its ability to maximize food production has been poorly addressed in the literature and deserves further investigation. The issue of nutrient recycling raises questions about the allocation of resources between food crops, feed and animal products. This study, based on a whole farming system experiment conducted over approximately fifteen years in north-eastern France, evaluates the biotechnical processes and feed production performance of two integrated mixed system configurations. These configurations differed both in their modes of production (diversity in both livestock and crops) and in their general strategies (struggling for self-sufficiency versus maximizing food production). Using a metabolic approach, the study assesses biotechnical processes (through ecological network analysis and nutrient balances) and the efficiency of food production. Our results show that the configuration designed to maximize food production is not the most productive, but it is the most efficient. In both cases, the efficiency at the scale of the agricultural system is better than the efficiency of any production. This confirms the importance of combining systemic and analytical approaches to better understand and act on the development of agroecological farming systems. We also show how important it is for a self-sufficient system to have reserve stocks for unfavorable years. Finally, our study confirms the agroecological value of integrated mixed farming systems, but emphasizes the need for (i) a more detailed consideration of their food production aspect and (ii) an analysis of the temporal dynamics of farming systems and the Commerce. between food production and nutrient cycling.
Investigation articleThe synergistic catalytic effect of carbon nanotubes on CuO during advanced oxidation processes: a theoretical consideration
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Building on our previous work on the synergy between graphene and catalyst particlesWe discuss how carbon nanotubes (CNTs) influence the catalytic reactivity of CuO during advanced oxidation processes using density functional theory calculations. Carbon nanotubes act as electron donors and regulate the electronic structure of CuO in each reaction step because the secondpagThe orbitals of the C atoms hybridize with the fourthdOrbitals of Cu atoms instead of 2pagOrbitals of O atoms An electric field drives charge transfer across the CNT-CuO interface, changing the electronic state of CuO/CNT for catalytic reactions.
Investigation articleEffect of drying sugarcane bagasse on thermal energy storage by adding/desorption of water vapor with zeolite in a sugar factory
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Recently, polygeneration in the sugarcane industry, which produces not only raw sugar but also other products (ethanol and electricity), has drawn attention to the green economy through the use of local natural resources. We focus on "heat" as a polygeneration method for the sugarcane industry. This study describes a thermal energy storage and transport system that can eliminate the spatiotemporal discrepancy between the heat source, the sugar mill, and the consumption of fossil fuels. The polygeneration system connects the thermal energy storage system to the sugar mill so that the additional energy produced by the drying of sugarcane bagasse, a high-moisture fuel, is used as auxiliary energy for thermal energy storage. Assuming the bagasse drying process in the sugar factory, here we study the bagasse drying rate, the bagasse drying in the bagasse elevator, the simulations of the sugar mill with the bagasse drying and the thermal energy storage system. using the zeolite water vapor adsorption/desorption cycle; A sugar factory in Tanegashima, Japan, served as an example. A fixed bed experiment filled with sugarcane bagasse was carried out and a numerical model was developed to simulate the temperature distribution and the evolution of the outlet vapor pressure in the fixed bed reactor. Then, the bagasse drying process was numerically simulated in a covered bagasse elevator, with an expected moisture reduction of 2%. This result was incorporated into the process simulation to evaluate the relationship between additional energy production and temperature, as well as the rate of wasted heat flow for thermal energy storage. Finally, this relationship was incorporated into the numerical design of a thermal charger to evaluate the effect of bagasse drying on the thermal energy storage system. The coefficient of performance (COP) of the thermal load system with bagasse drying was 1.6 times higher than without bagasse drying.
Investigation articleThe donation of bodies to science finally legally regulated
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Until recently, the donation of the corpse to science was governed solely by the burial policy. There was no legal framework for the use of these sites. The scandal of the mass burial of Descartes provoked a deliberation that allowed multiple devices to be included in the Public Health Code. Host facilities need to be approved and governance established. These organs can only be used after the scientific and educational ethics committees have reviewed the projects, and it is necessary to strengthen the information of donors on the use of organs. A more important place is dedicated to families so that they can be informed about the wishes of their deceased and about the possibility of returning the body for burial. These long-awaited legal provisions represent real progress, but it is unfortunate that this work has not been the occasion for a broader reflection on the use of corpses, particularly in the field of research. Depending on whether it is the examination of corpses from cadaveric donations, the examination of cadaveric samples or the examination of people in a state of brain death, the regulations and control points are different. It would have been interesting to harmonize procedures and controls, and perhaps include the investigation of ancient human remains in these considerations.
Until recently, the decision to donate a body to science was determined solely by burial policy. There was no legal framework defining how these positions should be used. The scandal of the Descartes mass graves triggered a process of reflection that led to the introduction of several provisions in the French health code. Reception facilities must now be licensed and governed. The use of the bodies can only take place after the plans have been reviewed by scientific and educational ethics committees, and donors must be better informed about how their bodies will be used. Families have a greater scope for inclusion, which means they can be informed of the wishes of the deceased and have the opportunity to bring the body for burial. These long-awaited legal provisions are a real step forward. However, it is unfortunate that this work has not provided a broader reflection on the use of bodies, mainly for research purposes. Rather, the regulations and the control authorities change, depending on whether it is ultimately an investigation on cadavers from a donation, investigation on samples, or investigation on people with brain death. It would have been worthwhile to standardize procedures and checkpoints and perhaps include research on ancient corpses in these considerations.
Investigation articleAdaptive Distributed Leadership and Circular Economy Adoption by Emerging SMEs
Journal of Business Research, Band 156, 2023, Article 113488
Existing literature has identified the role of leadership in facilitating the adoption of the Circular Economy (CE). However, this claim is hardly examined in the empirical literature. Likewise, research on the nexus in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is limited in the context of emerging markets. We close these gaps by examining CE through the adaptive lens of distributed leadership and developing a theoretical model for business innovation. We collected data through semi-structured interviews with 30 managers of process-intensive SMEs in India. The results suggest that distributed leadership facilitates CE adoption. He emphasizes the importance of an environment that allows for power sharing, delegation, decision making, shared authority, and a collaborative mindset. This inevitably builds trust, skills and confidence in employees and facilitates CE adoption. Our research offers several theoretical contributions. First, we emphasize the importance of the human element in the introduction of the GE and we emphasize the role of distributed leadership. We also contribute to the literature on distributed leadership and demonstrate its relevance to understanding major business transformations, such as: B. the introduction of community practices.
In addition, we provide a model that shows the conditions required to enable innovation and a creative organizational culture. Our study is one of the first to examine the importance of distributed leadership in facilitating CE practices. The results provide practical information on how CE can be introduced in SMEs, especially in emerging markets.(Video) Toolshed meetup 20.4.2021: Using systems thinking for groundbreaking sustainability innovations
© 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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