MANCINELLI, RAIMONDO; Wehrmeyer, Walter; Lee, Jacquetta; Arena, Noemi; Reeves, Kevin; Embley, Tim
Sustainability is a complex challenge for businesses due to divergent priorities, opaque customer needs and conflicting success criteria. Decision-makers do not have the right tools to make business decisions that can drive more sustainable business models. Instead, they often rely on managers’ intuition or on Sustainability Assessments (SAs) that have been designed for other applications rather than assessing Business Models for the context in question. The aim of this project is to drive a Sustainability Assessment of products and services market proposition. A novel qualitative framework for sustainable business models has been developed and tested, called Sustainable Product Canvas, using thematic analysis of BM literature as well as iterative case studies methodology in the infrastructure industry. The framework has been tested in two workshops for two different products’ development to push the participants to adopt the perspective of the social and environmental capital interests alongside economic considerations. The result is that the framework helped identify possibilities towards wider stakeholder value creation and minimise social and environmental issues in the early stages of product design. It has also been a helpful communication tool, summarising key business responsibilities and stakeholders needs in one effective overview. Multiple criteria, including the Bellagio STAMP and industrial criteria, have been used to judge the framework quality and to improve at each iteration. The findings of the two tested applications of the framework on real product development in the innovation field are described to clarify its possible applications.