Special Issue of J. Cleaner Production: Why have “sustainable product-service systems” not been widely implemented? (Sep 2012)

Special Issue: Why have ‘Sustainable Product-Service Systems’ not been widely implemented?
Journal of Cleaner Production
Website: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652612002855
Deadline for extended abstracts: 15 Sep 2012

Meeting new design challenges to achieve societal sustainability.

In this special issue the editorial team has the aim to analyse and better understand the dynamics, mechanisms and factors impeding/driving the implementation of sustainable PSSs, and of the strategies, approaches and tools that can be adopted, at different levels, to design, manage, stimulate and monitor the widespread adoption of PSS concepts. At the same time we seek to increase our understanding of the way in which interwoven and convergent approaches, such as social innovations, distributed economies, sufficiency, cradle-to-cradle, etc., can be synergetic with the PSS concepts and approaches.


We invite contributions (including comprehensive reviews, theoretical frameworks, empirical studies, case studies and applied studies) that focus on (but are not limited to) one or more of the following issues:

– How do sustainable PSS innovations take place? What are the dynamics and factors that facilitate and hinder the process of introduction and scaling-up? What conceptual and analytical frameworks can describe these transition processes? How can firms organise and manage the shift towards a PSS-oriented business approach? What role(s) can be played by different stakeholders (governments, public institutions, NGOs, citizens, research centres, etc.) in stimulating these processes? What can be learned from failure and success cases?

– What strategies, approaches and tools can be adopted to trigger the scaling up of sustainable PSSs? How can transition processes be designed and managed and to what extent? How can concepts such as socio-technical experiments, transition experiments, living labs, etc., trigger, guide and sustain these processes? What knowledge and capabilities are required to design, monitor and manage transition processes and their impacts? What kinds of design approaches, methods and tools can be used to improve the quality, breadth, depth and spread of the needed changes?

– What are specific characteristics of transition processes in different contexts (industrialised, emerging and low-income)? What are the similarities & differences and the specific challenges & opportunities? What specific design strategies and approaches can be applied to support transition processes in the different contexts?

– What synergies can be built with other promising models? The PSS concept seems to be a valuable and promising concept to tackle sustainability issues, but it does not represent a silver bullet. Synergies have to be built with other promising and interwoven concepts, for example the social innovation, distributed economies, sufficiency and cradle-to-cradle concepts. How can these concepts be combined to favour and to speed up radical changes for sustainability? Are there cases that document the synergistic benefits of using different combinations of approaches, concepts and tools? What can we learn from them that can help us to speed up the up-scaling processes?

– How do/can final users influence the introduction and scaling up processes? Sustainable PSSs usually require fundamental changes in user behaviour, practices, and mental frameworks. What strategies and approaches can be adopted to stimulate people to accept new consumption models? What role(s) can the aesthetic of PSSs play in this? How can/should sustainable PSSs be designed to stimulate behavioural changes and to foster user acceptance and satisfaction? How can/do different socio-cultural conditions foster or hinder the acceptation of sustainable PSSs? What can we learn from them that can help us to speed up the upscaling processes?

– How can changes in economic and legal frameworks foster and accelerate the implementation of sustainable PSS innovations? What governmental, regional and local policies can be adopted to specifically favour the introduction and scaling up of sustainable PSSs?

– What are the challenges/opportunities for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to help to facilitate the necessary transitions? What knowledge and know-how should be provided to challenge students to become active within the transformation of our consumption and production patterns to truly sustainable patterns? What educational strategies and approaches should be put into practice?


Contributors with proposals for papers are encouraged to communicate with the co-editors by e-mail. The following schedule will be applied:

– Submission of extended abstracts of max 1000 words to the Special Issue (SI) Editorial team at e-mails: carlo.vezzoli@polimi.it andfabrizio.ceschin@polimi.it, by September 15, 2012.

– Invitations from the SI Editorial Team will be sent to all prospective authors of full papers by October 15, 2012.

– Authors will submit their ‘peer-review ready’ documents to Elsevier via the EES system by February 15, 2013.

– The first round of the peer review/paper revision process will be done from February to April 30, 2013.

– When needed, the second and third rounds of the peer review/ paper revision process will be done from May 1 to July 15, 2013.

– Submission of the final/nearly final versions of all revised papers will be done by September 15, 2013

– Authors will be informed of acceptance and/or about additional minor changes they are to make on their documents by October 15, 2013

– Deadline for revisions for the SI by November 1, 2013.

– Submission of all documents for conversion to uncorrected proofs by November 15, 2013.

– Authors return uncorrected proofs along with suggested corrections by December 1, 2013.

– Publication of the SI January 2014.


Carlo Vezzoli and Fabrizio Ceschin
Politecnico di Milano, INDACO Department, Design and system Innovation for Sustainability (DIS) Research Unit, Via Durando 38/a, 20158 Milan, Italy

Jan Carel Diehl
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Design for Sustainability, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands

Cindy Kohtala
Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design, NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group, Hämeentie 135C, Helsinki, PO Box 31000, FI-00076 AALTO, Finland




About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: