Exploration of the Barriers to Implementing Different Types of Sustainability Approaches

Raphaëlle Marie Marianne Stewart, Niki Bey, Casper Boks

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    Integrating sustainability into business is gaining increased attention. Yet, implementing long-lasting sustainability approaches remains a complex task. Many empirical studies have identified the barriers to such implementation but the variation in challenges faced by companies, depending on the focus of the approach being implemented, is not addressed. The aim of this paper is i) to explore the barriers related to implementing different types of sustainability approaches and ii) to look for indications of similarities and differences across types of approaches. The research builds on data about the barriers, collected from a sample of twenty-two empirical studies in academic research and additional reports. The findings show that performance measurement systems and access to industry-specific information, benchmark or reference cases are common areas of difficulty across all types. The main variation is an increase in barriers beyond the company's boundaries, when shifting from a production to a value proposition focus. The results are limited by the unbalanced distribution of studies and the variety in methodologies present in the sample. Further research on barrier identification, prioritization and influential parameters is recommended.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProcedia CIRP
    Pages (from-to)22-27
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event23rd CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering - Berlin, Germany
    Duration: 22 May 201624 May 2016
    Conference number: 23


    Conference23rd CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license


    • Sustainability
    • Approaches
    • Implementation
    • Empirical Studies
    • Barriers


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