Systematic Guidance for How to Integrate a Strategic Sustainability Perspective in Core Business Decision Systems

DS 58-3: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 3, Design Organization and Management, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: França, César Levy; Hallstedt, Sophie; Broman, Göran
Series: ICED
Section: Design Organization and Management
Page(s): 385-


Sustainability integration in core business and product development has been a challenge, even if many supporting methods, tools and concepts are available today. However, these are mainly focusing on specific environmental aspects and are often failing to serve companies in integrating sustainability thinking into their strategic decision processes, and consequently into their core business and product development. In this study a previous proposal for an approach to assessing the current state of sustainability integration in company decision systems was used at two case companies, ABB High Voltage Cables and Hammarplast AB. The purpose was to develop this approach further so that it can better assist decision makers to integrate sustainability thinking into the strategic decision processes, to help prioritize actions in a backcasting plan for a sustainable company within a sustainable society. The developed approach includes a SWOT analysis supported strategic capability assessment, and generic guidelines for how to identify appropriate targets, which can also serve as a basis for development of indicators - all informed by a framework for strategic sustainable development.

Keywords: Keywords: sustainability principles, backcasting, framework for strategic sustainable development, strategic decision processes, goal-oriented indicators.


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