ASU Center for Organization Research and Design

Product-service System Concept as a Means of Reaching Sustainable Consumption?

by Oksana Mont

Jan 1, 2001

This study provides a better understanding of a product-service system and discusses its intended contribution to the shift towards more sustainable patterns of consumption. It shows that the idea of function provision originates from existing business examples of service extension to customers, the major driver of which is business opportunity. The concept of PSS takes one step further and pursues the idea of "more quality of life with less material intensity" by decoupling economic and consumption growth from environmental impact. In order to realise this, this study analyses the role of authorities, consumers, and producers in minimising environmental impacts of consumption. It suggests patterns of consumer involvement, and analyses policies and instruments that can serve as a starting point for introducing PSSs. Several examples of Nordic companies that are moving towards more service-oriented offers are provided. Discussion is held on the possible consequences for society, businesses and private consumers of the PSS concept's introduction and dissemination.