A governance model for organizing and managing business networks and a tool for estimating life cycle costs and comparing investment alternatives are just two of the projects that have resulted from SustainValue, an initiative funded by the European Union to assist in the creation of tools and methods for better sustainable manufacturing projects.
The new governance model, created by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, includes a step-by-step instruction manual to give businesses guidance on what things to consider and which tools to use in development processes. The model looks to more efficiently pool the knowledge of networking partners throughout the life cycle of products and services.
Another project, a tool for estimating life cycle costs, was developed by VTT and Elcon Solutions Oy, also of Finland. The tool is unique in that it allows businesses to communicate with buyers regarding the life cycle costs of different projects.
The University of Cambridge produced three methods of adopting sustainable business models as part of the SustainValue project. These include a new approach to business model development, a value mapping tool, and a library of sustainable business models.
UK-based Riversimple developed a new governance and business model focused on sustainability, which is useful in formalizing multi-stakeholder governance structure and sale-of-service model.
Projects produced by the Centre for Industrial Asset Management of University of Stavanger, Norway, included a continuous improvement platform for the manufacturing industry and a specific approach and method to manage competitive performance in a manufacturing network.
The University of Stavanger also developed a sustainability performance framework for monitoring the effects of business on the environment and society.
The Institute for Industrial Management at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany and the Politecnico di Milano in Italy produced a model that includes simulation techniques that can be used to assess the economic, ecological, and social impacts of a service or product and to model maintenance alternatives.
The SustainValue project is funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. It launched in April 2011 and ended in March.