Towards an integrated framework for sustainable innovation

Flores Pineda, Myrna and Canetta, Luca and Castrovinci Cercatore, Andrea and Pedrazzoli, Paolo and Longhi, Renzo and Boër, Claudio (2008) Towards an integrated framework for sustainable innovation. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 1 (4). pp. 278-286. ISSN 1939-7038

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Sustainable innovation represents a current challenge for companies, as firms need to change the way they design, develop, produce and distribute products and services. Therefore, this paper proposes a new framework to be used as a reference guideline for organisations to define a roadmap, specific actions and projects to achieve sustainable innovation, integrating four key enablers. The first enabler is mass customisation (MC), which targets the identification and compliance with customers' specific needs and requirements in order to achieve customer‐driven design. At the same time, the sustainable development (SD) paradigm is taken into consideration, where for any new product or service, companies analyse the benefits, risks and impacts of not only economic factors, but also social and environmental implications. The third enabler is linked to the value network (VN), where innovations happen owing to the active collaboration and distributed knowledge of partners inside and outside the company. Finally, the fourth and last considers the complete product and service life cycle (PSLC), where the three sustainable elements are identified and analysed in each single business process. Two case studies, (footwear sector and water treatment plants) are described to show the validity and successful deployment of the proposed framework in real industrial scenarios.

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