Lifecycle Management of Product-service Systems: A Preliminary Investigation of a White Goods Manufacturer

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Procedia CIRP, 2017, 64 pp. 31 - 36
Issue Date:
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© 2017 The Authors. Product-Service Systems (PSS) have been discussed as promising business strategies towards a circular economy (CE). However, PSS solutions are not necessarily more sustainable. PSS lifecycle management may play an important role to improve the offering and achieve sustainability benefits. Nevertheless, bottom-up issues for CE implementation in the industry such as lifecycle management are still little discussed in the literature. In this sense, this paper aims to explore a PSS business strategy adopted by a large white goods manufacturer that transitioned from a linear to a circular business, and the practices applied throughout the entire lifecycle that may be valuable to achieve CE requirements. A case-based approach was employed in this study and multiple sources of evidence were considered. Data were analyzed in the light of the literature, considering an inductive approach. The main preliminary findings suggest that resources consumption reduction and cost savings can be obtained through lifecycle management practices that take into consideration CE issues since the beginning of life of the PSS offering. Design practices, the adoption of different strategies at the end of life (reuse/remanufacturing or recycle), and the implementation of cleaner production practices are some of the identified practices that can contribute to achieve resource efficiency and CE requirements. This is a work in progress and further work is going to focus on a quantitative analysis of the environmental and economic performance of this PSS. In addition, as this study focused on a use-oriented PSS, future research may compare lifecycle management practices adopted by other and distinct PSS categories, and how different lifecycle management practices may contribute to achieving resource efficiency.
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