Development of new sustainable services
Authors: Thomas Meiren, Christian Schiller
Abstract: Sustainability is one of the most frequently discussed topics of our time. Although the idea of a sustainable economy was already addressed in the context of forestry in the 15th century and may therefore appear to be have a long tradition, the need for action - for example due to political or public demands - is stronger today than ever in many sectors of the economy. Although a growing number of companies are endeavoring to make their products and services more environmentally compatible, concepts for sustainability have hardly been implemented comprehensively in business practice to date.However, the guiding principle of sustainable design is already known in the product world and appears to be established to a certain extent, but it opens up more or less "new territory" in the sense of systematic research and development for new services. On the one hand, interesting economic and ecological opportunities for companies can be found in this area; on the other hand, there are also uncertainties associated with it, mainly due to the lack of knowledge about sustainable services.In particular, ecological sustainability has so far been discussed strongly against the background of energy production (shutdown of coal-fired power plants, use of renewable energies, etc.), energy-intensive industries (chemicals, steel production, etc.) and energy-consuming private areas of life (heating, mobility, etc.). However, the importance for the service economy is often underestimated. Particularly with regard to the design of processes (e.g. "online instead of on-site"), the consumption of resources (e.g. use of sustainable mobility solutions) and the development of new ecologically sustainable service offerings, considerable opportunities lies hidden here.Companies that want to put their ideas for ecologically sustainable services into practice often face two fundamental challenges. First, their corporate structures and processes are not designed for the efficient development and market positioning of new services. In many cases, the difficulties start with the fact that the development processes are not clearly defined, i.e. there is a lack of clear descriptions of the tasks, the methods to be used and the personnel requirements needed. Secondly, competencies with regard to the ecological sustainability of services are missing. In particular, there is a lack of knowledge on how to systematically develop sustainability into services.In the conference presentation, a reference model for the development of new ecologically sustainable services will be presented. In addition to a configurable development process, the model includes integrated methods and tools for various sustainability aspects. The reference model is complemented by recommendations for its organizational and personnel implementation.
Keywords: service engineering, reference model, sustainability, green services
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