MePSS Webtool - Tool (Level 4)

 
Worksheet W20 - Sustainability Design-Orienting (SDO)
Table of Contents
1. Objective
2. Putting into Practice
3. Implementation
4. Software, templates and other support
5. Call on Resources
6. Literature, examples and background information

Objective Table of Contents

The objective of this tool is to orientate the design process towards sustainable PSS solutions, setting sustainability priorities (using checklist), using sustainable design orienting guidelines (using Idea Tables) and checking and visualizing (through proper radar diagrams) the improvements in relation to an existing reference system and its sustainability priorities.

This tool is meant and has been developed to be a “bridge” between language, data and tools of the sustainability assessment "world" and the designer’s "world", when dealing with complex systems.



Putting into Practice Table of Contents

2.1 When and why should this tool be used?

All along the phases of the methodology, the PSS ideas generated and their associated scenarios will be oriented using guidelines (and related idea table). Guidelines are an effective support tool used to orient a decision-making process towards given objectives (sustainable solutions). They inspire and indicate the solutions that have the highest potential with regards to sustainability.

The software can be used to fulfil 3 objectives building on each other throughout the phases of the methodology:

1. During the phase ‘Exploration of PSS Opportunities’ the tool is used (as a follow-up of ‘Strategic Analysis’) to:

§ Identify the sustainability design priorities for the company;

§ Generate sustainable ideas on a scenario level;

§ Visualise the improvement achieved (for external communication).

2. During the phase ‘PSS Idea Development’, it is used to:

§ If necessary, to redefine the sustainability design priorities for the company;

§ Generate sustainable ideas on a service level;

§ Up-date and visualise the improvement achieved (for external communication);

3. During the phase ‘PSS Development’, it is used to:

§ Up-date and visualise the improvement achieved (for external communication).

2.2 Who should use this tool?

The multidisciplinary project team, with the designers in the leading role should be involved. The project manager could also implement the tool with some team members (e.g. marketing alone). It is also possible to include customers and stakeholders.



Implementation Table of Contents

3.1 How should this tool be used?

The key concept of this tool is to integrate the concept design generation process by “feeding” it with sustainable idea to be developed in brainstorming sections. So forth guidelines are given with priorities connected with the existing reference system to be redesigned. A software has been developed to integrate in a user-friendly way the sustainability priorities setting section, with the idea tables/guidelines and with the visualisation radar diagrams.

The following description explains how to use the software that supports this tool.

Step 1 – Start up

In the starting data page insert some general information about the project, defining also the satisfaction unit, which refers to the client satisfaction provided by the service, and the existing system of reference. Save the project through the save project button.

For example:

  • Project name: residential service
  • Satisfaction unit (i.e.: functional unit): to assist consumers in better managing their energy consumption? To better manage electricity consumption.
  • Short description of existing system: providing energy without any kind of assistance on consuming energy.

Step 2 – Use of the software in the ‘Strategic Analysis’ phase

The purpose is to find out and define which are the sustainable priorities of the existing system of reference (and also of a possible case study).

This step is related to the SUSTAINABILITY DIMENSIONS section of the software, which contains the Environmental, Socio-ethical and Economic sub-sections.

The priorities represent the basis to orientate the design decisions and efforts towards the most relevant sustainable solutions. They are referred to 6 criteria, which represent a clearly separated area of concern of environmental/socio-ethical/economic sustainability in such a form that is understandable by a designer. They allow a sustainability check in terms of relative priority setting (among the various criteria). The criteria are also the headers of various sets of design guidelines.

Fig.1 checklist/criteria; indication of checklist and criteria’s priorities.

Fig. 2 Radar Diagram in which criteria, priorities, existing system circle are clearly indicated.

Furthermore, a dimension needs to be chosen and set priorities / existing system selected. The criteria are visualized and to each of them corresponds a series of questions (Checklist), which enables to pinpoint the priority for the given criterion. In the text box you can insert answers and comments on the checklist. At the end you should be able to define the priority, selecting the high/medium/low/no button (fig.1).

If you go in the View section you can visualise the graphical result of this process.

Select the existing system and one of the three dimensions. The related radar diagram visualizes the existing system (bold circle), and its priorities for each criterion (fig 2).

It is recommended to save the project, in the menu Options/save.

Step 3 - Use of the software in the ‘PSS Idea Development’ phase

In order to orientate a PSS scenario/idea towards sustainable solutions, you should start from those criteria having the highest score in terms of priorities, i.e. weighing the efforts according to the their relevance (high, medium, low, no).

To achieve this, a series of guidelines, referred to each criterion, aims at orientating the scenarios/ideas in the “right” direction.

"Visualise sustainability aspects of PSS scenario

In the Sustainability dimensions section of the Menu, choose a dimension and go to orientate concept, select scenario on the top: you will get to idea tables section. The criteria are visualised, with the related priorities you defined (2) and with a series of related guidelines (level 1). Perform an idea generation brainstorming, starting from those criteria having the highest priorities. Write in the related “post it” boxes the ideas that emerged (click on the circles on the left and right sides).

It is recommended to save the project, in the menu Options/save.

Fig. 3 Image of IDEAS TABLE/guidelines level 1 with some ideas written on “post it” boxes.

For example:

If Resource reduction is a high priority, you should start by the idea table referred to this criterion, getting inspiration from the related guidelines. At the same time, if transportation/distribution reduction has a low priority, you will give less attention to it (or even no attention if it has “no” priority).

“Visualise sustainability aspects of PSS scenario”

In the Sustainability dimensions section of the Menu, choose a dimension and go to check concept. Write in the text box the synthesis of the PSS Scenario developed in the Scenario workshop. The button Environmental/socio-ethical/economic check of PSS concept leads to the checklists, which will help you to define the improvement of the scenario in relation to the existing system.

Mark the improvement: worsening (-), equal (=), incremental improvement (+), radical improvement (++).

Going through the checklist you may realize something can be improved or changed; go to modify concept description button and update the previous concept definition.

Fig. 4 Radar with the “sail” of the concept and with the improvement indications.

If you go in the View section of the Menu, you can visualise the graphical result of the improvement. Select concept and the sustainability dimension you are interested in. The radar diagram will enable to visualise an area on the diagram, which represents the improvement of the scenario in relation to the existing system (bold circle) or to the case study. It is recommended to save the project, in the menu Options/save.

If you have more than one scenario you may copy the file you are working on, saving it with the name of the other scenario (= name of the project in the starting data page). Then you will modify all previous scenario data. In each file there can be only one scenario.

“Prioritise sustainability guidelines”

Save one of the projects with the name of the new PSS idea (= name of the project in the starting data page). If you haven’t done any scenario project before, start with a new project (see step1).

In the Sustainability dimensions section of the Menu, choose a dimension and go to orientate concept; select PSS idea on the top. The criteria are visualised, with the related priorities you defined (2) and with a series of related guidelines (level 2 – more detailed). Perform a brainstorming starting from those criteria having both the highest priorities (reference existing system) and the lowest improvements (PSS scenario): write the emerged ideas in the “post it” boxes (click on the circles on the left and right sides).

It is recommended to save the project, in the menu Options/save.

Fig. 5 Image of IDEAS TABLE/guidelines level 2 with some ideas written on the “post it” boxes

“Visualise sustainable aspects of PSS ideas”

In the Sustainability dimensions section of the Menu, choose a dimension and go to check concept. Write in the text box a synthesis of the PSS idea developed (in case up-dating what was written for the PSS scenario). The button Environmental/socio-ethical/economic check of PSS concept leads you to the checklists, which will help you to define (in case up-dating what was written for the PSS scenario) the improvement in relation to the existing system.

Mark the improvement: worsening (-), equal (=), incremental improvement (+), radical improvement (++).

Going through the checklist you may realize the PSS idea can be improved or changed; if so go to modify concept description button and update the previous concept definition.

If you go in the View section you can visualise the graphical result of the improvement. Select concept and the sustainability dimension you are interested in. The radar diagrams will enable to visualise a, area (shaped like a boat sail) which represents the improvement of the PSS idea, in relation to the existing system (bold circle) or to the case study.

It is recommended to save the project, in the menu Options/save.

3.2 Result

Various set of ideas oriented towards sustainability. Visualisation of different set of sustainable scenarios/ideas by radar diagrams of sustainability improvement.

3.3 Input needed/ data required/ data acquisition process

Input are results derived from more quantitative tools such as the Screening Life Cycle Analysis (Worksheet 5), the Inventory of Sustainability indicators (Worksheet 3), or the Identification of activities with highest sustainable development impact (Worksheet 4).



Software, templates and other support Table of Contents

4.1 Software

- Sustainable Design-Orienting Toolkit (SDO)
- http://www.mepss-sdo.polimi.it/mepss/website/mepss.html

4.2 Templates and other support

No other support.



Call on Resources Table of Contents

5.1 Personnel and time needed

1 or 2 hours for setting priorities.
1 or 2 hours for performing brainstorming through guidelines (idea table).
1 hour to evaluate the improvement.


Literature, examples and background information Table of Contents

6.1 Methodological References

1. UNEP, Manzini Vezzoli, Product-Service Systems and Sustainability. Opportunities for sustainable solutions. UNEP, Division of Technology Industry and Economics, Production and Consumption Branch, 2002. ISBN: 92-807-2206-9.

2. Sustainable Solutions, Developing Products and Services for the Future, Edited by Martin Charter, The Centre for Sustainable Design, UK and Ursula Tischner econcept, Germany, February 2001 469pp | 234 x 156mm | Hardback, ISBN 1 874719 36 5
The book provides state-of-the-art analysis on sustainable design and innovation. It gives information about theory, definitions, methodologies and tools, as well as case studies on a number of product groups. The book provides an overview on latest developments, which will be helpful for researchers as well as product developers.

3. Was is Ecodesign/ How to do Ecodesign, Tischner, Ursula et al. Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/ Boston, 2000, ISBN 3-89802-024-X

This up-to-date manual published by the Federal German Environmental Agency (UBA), offers helpful practical knowledge to do Ecodesign. The manual addresses designers, engineers, managers and marketing experts who would like to gain experience in Ecodesign.

www.suspronet.org - The website of an European thematic network dealing with development and design of sustainable product service systems.

www.dynamo.tno.nl - TNO offers an online database with innovation cases and includes around 150 PSS cases.