3593 Product-Service Systems: Added Value for Productivity and Raw Material Efficiency at one Blow? Status Quo and Potentials in Resource-Intensive Production Processes

Esther Bollhoefer , Competence Center Industrial Innovations, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, Germany
Katharina Mattes , Competence Center Industrial Innovations, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Karlsruhe, Germany
Full Papers
  • Bollhoefer_ID 3593_final.pdf (83.1 kB)
  • Justification of the paper: Germany is a country with limited resources and thus its industries are highly dependent on an intelligent and efficient use of raw materials and resources.

    Purpose: In order to stay competitive, the management has to seize and implement strategic solutions which focus on efficiency and contribute to global sustainability. Hence, the use of product-service systems (PSS) could have a valuable impact on this development, e. g. by intensifying the usage of products or because the provider possesses a deeper know-how for a more efficient use of the product. The hereby induced changes in the relationship between supplier and customers can also lead to a decoupling of resource consumption and profit generation and thus reduce the environmental impact.

    Theoretical framework: Until now, the concept of PSS is well known within the context of total cost of ownership concepts and productivity. There are a few sources of management literature referring to its potential to reduce the environmental impact of industrial production. However, the effects of PSS on cost and resource efficiency as well as on increasing productivity have not been explored thoroughly.

    Results: Thus, first step is to identify opportunities for PSS along the production processes within resource-dependent industries with a high use of raw materials, such as e. g. the chemical, metal and steel making industries. Afterwards we will assess the potential economic impact as well as the potential environmental benefit and try to crosslink them for PSS with focus on improvements regarding energy and material efficiency, recycling processes as well as closed loop systems.

    Conclusions: This is done by a comprehensive literature review, by applying empirical data from a large scale survey of the German manufacturing industry conducted in 2009, which provides a sample of 1484 companies, and by expert interviews with representatives from industry. Besides recommendations regarding the implementation of product-service systems to improve resource efficiency and economic growth, we derive suitable types of product-service systems for the different resource-dependent industries.