Lindkvist, Mathias; Ekener, Elisabeth
Social sustainability is an important aspect of supply chains. This is of particular interest during innovation stages, due to the opportunity to early in the process select design and production that align with sustainable development. The methodology social lifecycle assessment (SLCA), aimed at assessing social impacts, is still under development. Approaches to identify the cause-effect chains from supply chains to final impacts on social sustainability have only been developed and used to a limited extent so far, but the area has received considerable attention lately. In order to identify and describe these cause-effects chains, it is useful to thoroughly and clearly define what to be safeguarded and supported – the human wellbeing. A literature review was conducted in order to provide guidance on which components of human wellbeing matters to people. The literature reviewed covers a range of disciplines, including philosophy, psychology and development studies. Snowballing technique was used for selecting the literature, which means that we follow citations of and from already identified sources in order to capture the publications most relevant to the aim of our study. Preliminary results show that it cover aspects such as health, friendship and meaning-making. Further, indications are that also very poor people highly value more aspects of life than only basic health and life support. Combined with the trend towards considering positive impacts on social sustainability in SLCA, this points to both opportunities and challenges of products regarding the impacts from activities along supply chains on a range of actors. Defining human wellbeing, to enable the safeguarding and support of it, is only a first step towards modelling cause-effect chains for effective use of SLCA. However, such a definition can be a useful tool also in itself, not least for allowing in innovation projects consideration of design issue to enhance its support of wellbeing in the society.