Product-service for environmental safeguard: a metrics to sustainability

by R C Michelini, R P Razzoli


There is an urgent need for sustainability in markets and in our\neconomic system. This need is in the face of a growing destruction of\nnon-renewable resources and the ceaseless degradation of the\nenvironment. it is generated by affluent societies, relentlessly\nreplacing tangible goods, and is based on wealth economics trading in\nnew products to continue expanding well-being. Industrialised countries\nare facing the challenge of maintaining living standards, while lowering\nconsumption. This paper describes the novel opportunity offered by\ntrading off products-services, namely, enhanced products or extended\ndeliveries, which include the life-cycle and recycling incumbents and\nsupplies, with a transparent accounting of resource depletion. Product\nenhancement relates directly to information content, it is consistent\nwith the wealth driven economics of the knowledge society, and it\nnaturally leads to the description of manufacturing processes by\nKILT-models. There, in addition to investment I and labour L, both\nknowledge K and tangibles T are considered as independent productivity\nfactors. In that context, the use of TYPUS-metrics is required to assess\nresource decay. This opportunity is related to extended enterprises and\nco-operative infrastructures. These provide a critical means to manage\nproduct life-cycles for sustainability with a measure of the resulting\nenvironmental impact. The developments are presented as innovative\nsteps, necessary to enable eco-consistent changes with technological\nissues framed in coherent social and legal arrangements. (C) 2004\nElsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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