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Value System for Sustainable Manufacturing: A study of how sustainability can create value for manufacturing companies
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis was conducted in the field of Environmental technology for the Sustainability & Technology Assessment group, at Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology. Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology is a research institute, striving to contribute to Singapore’s industrial capital through use-inspired research.

The manufacturing industry contributes to a significant portion of the world´s total energy and resource consumption. This resource consumption could be reduced significantly through sustainable initiatives and technologies already available today. The reasons why companies choose not to invest in such technologies are often not due to technical factors, but rather due to financial factors. Financial barriers exist because investments are made on the basis of cost based value systems, which seldom justify investments in sustainable technology. When investments are made, the primary reason is to reduce costs while intangible benefits are ignored. However, this study shows that sustainability creates intangible value that current value systems cannot account for. Understanding the true value of sustainability would help decision makers realize that sustainable manufacturing is a viable business opportunity.

This thesis studies the effect sustainable attributes has on a company’s ability to generate value. A value system is proposed, linking 40 sustainable attributes to value domains of intangible value. The value of sustainable attributes is quantified using the Sustainable Value approach. The study shows that social indicators, deemed by others to be unsuitable, can be used when proper adjustments to the Sustainable Value approach are made. A case study was performed on the Swedish manufacturing company Finess Hygiene AB to investigate the applicability of the model. The case study showed that the value system was applicable using data that already exists within the company, but the main challenge lies in collecting good and reliable benchmark data. Benchmark data is significantly easier to obtain in Sweden than Singapore for users wishing to apply the proposed value system. A follow up study should be performed to study the potential of a large scale adoption of the value system in Singapore.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 123 p.
Keyword [en]
sustainability manufacturing value intangible
National Category
Environmental Management
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72188ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A--11/01226--SEOAI: diva2:461535
Subject / course
Industrial Management
Available from: 2011-12-05 Created: 2011-11-21 Last updated: 2011-12-05Bibliographically approved

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