3.1 Eco Efficient System Innovation Vezzoli Polimi 07 08 3.11

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3.1 Eco Efficient System Innovation Vezzoli Polimi 07 08 3.11

  1. 1. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation course System Design for Sustainability subject 3. System design for eco-efficency carlo vezzoli politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . Italy Learning Network on Sustainability contents Phase’s transformation (processes) Phase’s transaction (semi-finished/products) Cycles’ combinations (products/services) Adding value to the product life cycle Providing final results to customers Providing enabling platforms for customers carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  2. 2. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 3.1.1 System eco-efficiency As has been said before, over the last few years some design research centres, starting with a more stringent interpretation of environmental sustainability (that requires a systemic discontinuity in production and consumption patterns) have reset part of the debate on design for sustainability starting from system innovation. In fact, some authors have observed that the criteria for product Life Cycle Design meets obstacles in traditional supply models of product sale (Stahel, 2001; Cooper, 2000; Lindhqvist, 2000; Goedkoop, van Halen, Riele, Rommes, 1999; Manzini, Vezzoli, 1998). By most design researchers a more significant ambit in which to act to promote radical changes for sustainable consumption, seemed to be the widening possibilities for innovation beyond the product, particularly innovation of the system as an integrated mix of products and services that together lead to the satisfaction of a given demand for well-being (Goedkoop, van Halen, Riele, Rommes, 1999; Brezet, 2001; Charter, Tischner, 2001; Manzini, Vezzoli, 2001; Bijma, Stuts, Silvester, 2001). Commonly referred to in this context as Product-Service Systems (PSS), system innovations are shifting the centre of business from the design and sale of (physical) products alone to the offer of product and service systems that are together able to satisfy a particular demand. To clarify this concept we can take the example used in a UNEP publication (UNEP, 2002): given the “satisfaction” in having clean clothes, we do not need only a washing machine, but also detergent, water and electricity (and the services that supply them), and maintenance, repair and disposal services. So when we talk about system innovation, it is meant an innovation that involves all the different socio-economic stakeholders in this satisfaction system: the washing machine and detergent producers, the water and electricity suppliers, the user and those responsible for maintenance and disposal. Furthermore, it is to some extent a shared opinion that these innovations could lead “to a system minimisation of resources, as a consequence of innovative stakeholder interactions and related converging economic interests” (UNEP, 2002). Thus eco-efficient system innovation derives from a new convergence of interest between the different stakeholders: innovation not only at a product (or semi-finished) level, but above all as new forms of interaction/partnership between different stakeholders, belonging to a particular value chain, or value constellation (Normann, Ramirez, 1995). In other terms, the research interest in this innovation model relies on the fact that it can raise system eco-efficiency through innovative stakeholders’ interactions. In reality, this interpretation of system innovation forms part of the foundations and criteria already expressed in Product Life Cycle Design (see learning resource 2.2). However, when this approach was adopted, it emerged even more clearly (as the basic assumption) that it was the reconfiguration of the system that constituted the starting point towards achieving certain results. The environmental value must in any case be assessed on the overall effects of the life cycles of the products and services that make up the system on offer. 3.1.2 Traditional sales/design model: eco-efficiency constraints To understand in general terms why system innovation and innovative stakeholder interaction could be more eco-efficient compared to traditional product sales/design let's use the Life Cycle model, carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  3. 3. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 but substitute the phases with the related stakeholders (fig.??). Here laundry could be a useful example of satisfaction system again. For this satisfaction I do not need only a washing machine, but also detergent, water and electricity (and the services that supply it), and maintenance, repair and divestment services. In the case of a traditional product sale/design, the producer of the washing machine (but also of the detergent and the electricity) has an interest in reducing material and energy consumption during the production phase. On the contrary, he has no direct economic interest either in limiting consumption during use, or in reducing divestment impact and valorising the resulting waste. Sometimes the producer is even interested in selling products with a short life span, with the only aim of accelerating replacement. Similar arguments could be made about other phases and stakeholders, so in a nutshell the economic interests behind the traditional product sale or design lead the various stakeholders towards a discrete resource optimisation, i.e. in phases’ transformation processes (fig. ??) In other words, the biggest problems in the transformation processes do not appear within one given phase, when related to a single stakeholder (e.g. manufacturer of a washing machine). In terms of eco-efficiency, more problems arise in the so called phase’s transaction, during the sale or disposal of (semi-finished) products. Here can occur indifference towards reducing resources consumption; or even worse - an interest to increase consumption of resources. For example the producer of plastic has an interest to increase the sales of its materials (to cause increase of resources consumption). Similar problems arise during so called combinations of products and services life cycles, where stakeholders do not have any direct interest in the resources consumption reduction. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  4. 4. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 Stakeholders in a product life cycle: discrete vs. system resources optimisation In summary, the growth of eco-efficiency and applying an LCD approach in a traditional sale/design model (due to its sole focus on the sale of products), faces several constraints due to: a low level interaction of the product system’s stakeholders even lower level of interaction of the satisfaction system’s stakeholders. 3.1.3 Toward the system eco-efficiency We have observed that the fragmentation of stakeholders in the various phases of a product’s life cycle (in the traditional economic framework of industrialised countries), means that the eco- efficiency of the life cycle system usually does not coincide with the economic interests of the individual constituent stakeholders. From eco-efficient perspective could be interesting to list all those innovative interactions/relationship between the stakeholders that for economical reasons, could result with resource optimization based on product function. Even better would be mapping out those innovative interactions and relationships of the whole demand satisfaction system, which could effectuate system-satisfaction based resource optimization. In our example (fig. ??) the washing machine and detergent producers, the water and electricity suppliers, those responsible for maintenance, the user and the end-of life manager. In the light of the arguments arisen so far which could be the incentives for companies to enhance the system eco-efficiency? Which are there economical models, where the economic and competitive benefits for a company correspond to a reduction in resource consumption or more in general to a reduction in the environmental impact? One has to look for innovative elements in the stakeholder interactions and configuration that could be trans-phase innovations or trans-cyclic innovations. In both cases a stakeholder integration and extension of their interactions in time could be helpful for both cases. A) A stakeholders integration (extension of control), which in turn could be: • vertical: a single stakeholder responsible for the whole life-cycle phases; e.g. a producer of washing machines as well as recycler of the washing machines. • horizontal: one stakeholder is responsible for different products and services within one satisfactory system; e.g. producer, who sells washing machines as well as washing powder and later deals with their end-of-life treatments. Without going too deep into this topic we can just mention that also vertical and horizontal integration have their own limits due to monopolistic risks and inefficiency enabled by the absence of concurrency. But the extension of control is not the only trans-phasal or trans-cyclical way to modify the interactions. B) Extending the length of interactions and partnerships, meaning that relations between stakeholders do not end with the transaction - sale of the (pre)product: carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  5. 5. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 • vertical: more stakeholders, including the final user, extend their interactions within a given Product life cycle • horizontal: more stakeholders, including the final user, extend their interactions within Product- Service System life cycles. Thus eco-efficient system innovation derives from a new convergence of interest between the different stakeholders: innovation not only at a product (or semi-finished) level, but above all at configuration level, i.e. when setting up new forms of partnership/interaction between different stakeholders in a satisfaction system. Convergence scheme between the interests of stakeholders in a satisfaction system, working towards system sustainability 3.1.4 Eco-efficient system innovation typologies A system approach can “lead to a system minimisation of resources, as a consequence of innovative stakeholder’s interactions and related converging economic interests”. System innovation can be seen as a strategic innovation, a possible choice for companies to separate resource consumption from its traditional connection with profit and standard of living improvements; to find new profit centres, to compete and generate value and social quality while decreasing (directly or indirectly) total resource consumption. In other words, system innovation is potentially a win-win solution: winning for the producers/providers, the users and the environment. Three major business approaches to system innovation have been studied and listed as favourable for eco-efficiency: • Services providing added value to the product life cycle • Services providing “final results” for customers • Services providing “enabling platforms for customers”. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  6. 6. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 3.1.4.1 Adding value to the product life cycle (type I) Let's start with an example of an eco-efficient system innovation adding value to the product life cycle. EXAMPLE Klüber has moved from selling to commercial customer just lubricants to a service providing added value to product use. Using a service called S.A.T.E. it analyses the effectiveness of aerosol treatment plants and sewage treatment. For this purpose, Klüber has designed a movable chemical laboratory, a van, that is able to monitor a client’s industrial machines directly, to determine the performance of lubricants used, and their environmental impact. It also controls noise, vibrations, smoke and many other undesirable industrial impacts. The additional service which Klüber offers clients, leads to plant improvement in term of efficiency, guarantees functionality and durability, and enhances environmental protection. Kluber has broken away from the business-as-usual attitude. Its interests do not rely just on the amount of lubricant sold only, but also on service, and in fact there has been a reduction in the overall quantity of lubricant consumed per unit of service, and thus a reduction in polluting emissions. Other benefits arise from the improved monitoring of performance of various machines, so that any accidental pollution can be avoided. For example, a leading Italian company of aluminium pressure castings, has reduced the consumption of chemical reactives in its purging systems by 20%. In another leading company involved in the mechanical machining of copper alloys, a lubricant containing chlorine, phosphor, boron, and formaldehyde has been substituted with another without these toxic compounds. Finally, the Kluber approach means operators are better safeguarded. Clients perceive they derive added value from this service because it frees them from the costs and the problems associated in the monitoring and checking of their equipment. Achieving better efficiency from lubricants also provides many economic benefits both in production processes and in improving the life of machines, and plant costs are also reduced. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  7. 7. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 In summary, a system innovation adding value to the product life cycle is defined as (UNEP, 2002): a company (alliance of companies) that provides additional services to guarantee life cycle performance of the product (sold to the client). A typical service contract would include maintenance, repair, up-grading, substitution and product take back services over a specified period of time. 3.1.4.2 Offering final results to customers (type II) Now an example about an eco-efficient system innovation providing final results to the customers. EXAMPLE The ‘solar heat service’ is a full-service providing a final result, consisting in ‘selling’ hot water as a finished product. Hot water is produced by new equipment that combines sun, energy and methane, with economic and energy savings. Solar plants are designed in order to maximise the contribution of solar energy. Hot water is measured by means of a specific heat meter and the whole system is monitored, in order both to control in real time how the system works, and also to apply the Guarantee of Solar Results, a specific contract through which the installer makes a commitment to get a pre determined level of efficiency. AMG has already tested this service in a Tennis Club in Palermo city (Italy), providing hot water for the dressingrooms. The innovative feature of this Product-Service system is that AMG will not invoice the client for the methane consumed to obtain hot water, but rather, hot water is sold as an entire service. AMG sells heat, and calculates the thermal kilowatts consumed by its clients; for instance, in 2001 one litre of hot water costs 0,2 euro cents. With AMG the consumer pays for receiving a comprehensive service, from the installation, to the thermal-energy meters, and to the transportation of methane to the boilers. With equipment maintenance provided as well, the customer is overall buying a ‘final result’. This new product-service mix is sold as a complete service, which can significantly benefit the environment. The combination of methane and solar energy used to produce hot water supplies is 70% of what is needed. The company thus becomes motivated to innovate in order to minimise the energy consumed in use. Billing is by unit of service and not per unit of consumed resources. The less methane consumed (the higher the use of solar energy and the system efficiency) the higher the income for AMG. AMG estimates this will lead to a decrease in emissions of 100 tons of carbon dioxide per year. AMG derives economic benefits through diversification. It is improving its strategic position by giving added value to consumers, as well as the use of clean energy. From this perspective, it has achieved considerable value by tapping into local solar radiation as an economic resource. Within the European context AMG has achieved considerable results and found real economic opportunities in terms of market differentiation. The initial investment, used for the panels, is offset because half of the thermal energy needed is generated by solar energy, thus free. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  8. 8. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 Thus a system innovation offering final results to customers can be defined as (UNEP, 2002): a company (alliance of companies) that provides a customised mix of services (as a substitute for the purchase and use of products), in order to provide a specific final result (in other words, an integrated solution to meet the customer’s satisfactions). The mix of services do not require the client to assume (full) responsibility for the acquisition of the product involved. Thus, the producer maintains the ownership of the products and is paid by the client just for providing the agreed results. The customer benefits by being freed from the problems and costs involved in the acquisition, use, and maintenance of equipment and products. 3.1.4.3 Offering enabling platforms for customers (type III) And finally an example about an eco-efficient system innovation of enabling platforms for customers. EXAMPLE AutoShare, like many other car sharing systems, is a service providing an enabling platform of product (car) and services. Cars are stationed near member’s homes and accessible 24 hours a day via a telephone reservation system. Members can use the car for as little as one hour, or as long as they like. To obtain these benefits, members pay a small subscription fee to AutoShare to contribute to the fixed costs of the company, and are then charged only for the hours that they use the car. Essentially a member pays for the mobility they use (rather than needing to outlay a large amount of money for something that will spend most of its time immobile). All AutoShare cars are stationed at, or very near, a transit stop of the public transport system of Toronto, which consists of subway trains, streetcars and buses. This also helps accommodate customers combining public transit and car trips. AutoShare currently has a partnership with a local car rental agency where it obtains nearly new cars from the agency for short-term leases, and in return, sends the agency the longer-term rental business which Autoshare cannot accommodate. Car sharing is targeted at people who will use it for major shopping expeditions, weekend trips to second homes or visits to friends / family who live at a distance. A car sharing system basically intensifies the use of cars, meaning a lower number of cars are needed in a given context for a given demand of mobility. AutoShare estimates that every ‘shared’ car on the road replaces 5 to 6 privately owned cars and this helps deter non-car owners from purchasing. A side effect is the reduction in car use per demand of mobility, in favour of public transport or other means, such us bicycles and walking. In fact, members belonging to the car sharing organisation tend to drive much less than car owners, as it is in their interest to drive less in carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  9. 9. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 order to reduce the hourly costs associated with driving behaviour. This, in turn, reduces emissions which contribute to smog and climate change. AutoShare has benefited by opening up a new market. Although environmental consciousness is attractive to members and helps ‘sell’ the service, the economic benefit is, for them, the primary attraction. For car users, a subscription to AutoShare provides convenient access to car mobility at lower costs than a traditional car rental agency. For those who travel less than 12,000 km per year by car, subscribing to, and using the AutoShare service, is cheaper than purchasing a private car, and the company manages the associated issues of owning (regular maintenance and repairs, cleaning, insurance, etc.). In summary a system innovation offering final results to customers is defined as (UNEP, 2002): a company (alliance of companies) offers access to products, tools, opportunities or capabilities that enable clients to get the results they want, efficiently satisfying their needs and desires. The client obtains the desired utility, but does not own the product that provides it, and pays only for the time the product is actually used. Depending on the contract agreement, the user could have the right to hold the product/s for a given period of time (several continuous uses) or just for one use. Commercial structures for providing such services include leasing, pooling or sharing of certain goods for a specific use. 3.1.4.4 System innovation eco-efficiency potentials All 3 types of eco-efficient system innovation approaches, distinguished so far (adding value to product life cycle, offering final results to customers, offering enabling platform to customers), present environmentally and economically favourable solutions. In fact, these and other examples carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability
  10. 10. course System Design for Sustainability . subject 3. System design for eco-efficency . learning resource 3.1 Eco-efficient system innovation . year 2007-2008 show that innovative relations between the client and the providers and other value chain stakeholders can reach mutually beneficial solutions, where the same economic interest that led towards innovations, reduces the environmental impact. In set terms it means that the potential eco-efficiency of the system innovation depends on those economic interests of the stakeholder, that favour: product life cycle optimisation materials life extension minimisation of utilised resources. System eco-efficiency is also raised with: easily adoptable technologies fast substitution of obsolete products with new and more eco-efficient ones. carlo vezzoli . politecnico di milano . INDACO dpt. . DIS . faculty of design . italy Learning Network on Sustainability

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