InImpact: The Journal of Innovation Impact

Publisher Future Technology Press
Vol. 7 No. 2 KES Transactions on SDM I - Sustainable Design and Manufacturing 2014
Volume Editors KES International
Journal ISSN 2051-6002
 
Article TitleUsing the value mapping tool for sustainable business thinking
Primary AuthorNancy Bocken, University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, IfM
Other Author(s) Padmakshi Rana; Samuel Short
Pages 333 - 349
Article ID sdm14-012
Publication Date 01-May-16
Abstract

Pressures on business to operate in a more environmentally and socially responsible and sustainable manner are increasing rapidly. This requires companies to adopt a holistic approach to thinking about business that seeks to integrate consideration of the three dimensions of sustainability - social, environmental and economic in a manner that balances or ideally aligns value creation for all stakeholders including the environment and society at all levels and through all activities of the business. This is referred to as sustainable business thinking. The business model concept offers a useful framework for system-level innovation for sustainability, and provides the conceptual linkage with the activities of the firm such as product and services design, production processes, supply chains and partnerships, and distribution channels. A value mapping tool has been presented in the literature to assist in a holistic approach to the generation of new business model ideas for sustainability that uses a multi-stakeholder perspective and explores both positive and negative forms of value creation. It is observed that such a holistic approach is also necessary at the functional levels within the business to support sustainability, particularly in product and process design, but as of yet few practical tools are available for these activities. This paper explores the use of the value mapping tool for broader sustainable business thinking, by reflection on its use in workshop settings. The following potential applications to stimulate sustainable business thinking are identified: 1) Ideation for start-ups and established firms, 2) Education, 3) Product and process design and life cycle thinking, 4) Evaluation and screening, 5) Collaboration, 6) Competitive analysis and 7) Policy appraisal. This is expected to be of interest to practitioners in sustainable manufacturing, design for sustainability, business strategy for sustainability, and policy makers. It also serves as a framework for future academic research for sustainability at the various levels of the business.

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