ASU Center for Organization Research and Design

Product-Service Systems as a Promising Approach to Sustainability: Exploring the Sustainable Aspects of a PSS in Brazil

by P.A. Cauchick Miguel; T.T. Sousa

Jan 1, 2015

Product-Service Systems (PSS) represent a business proposition with potential to provide a wide range of economic, environmental, and social benefits, allowing achieving the sustainability. However, PSS does not necessarily lead to sustainable solutions and this potential must be assessed in each case. In this sense, the aim of this paper is to investigate sustainable aspects of a "result oriented PSS" (a reverse osmosis water filter system) available in Brazil and compares it with the conventional product, the bottled water. Some aspects from the literature, mentioned as important in each sustainability dimension, were selected to analyze the PSS under study. A qualitative analysis was performed and demonstrates that in comparison with bottled water, the water filter PSS is competitive, satisfy customer needs, and has a relatively lower environmental impact. However, besides conceiving sustainable solutions, is necessary to identify which factors drive the implementation and diffusion of PSS. Some findings of this study suggest that the effects caused by unexpected consumer behavior and incorrect PSS application may compromise PSS sustainable performance during operational phase. An analysis of these effects during transition process is essential to successful sustainable strategies. The study aimed to contribute to the PSS empirical knowledge and to assist building a theoretical basis regarding PSS and sustainability.