PSS and its Effects on Sustainability
The effects of PSS on sustainability have been generally discussed elsewhere with regard to developed countries (e. g. Mont, 2004). We could identify those effects within this case study again to support the following findings: firstly, by introducing a PSS (instead of mere product sales), the resource efficiency could be significantly increased (by using the batteries more often). Secondly, the PSS leads to an extension of the responsibilities of the manufacturer. The company now owns batteries and lamps and is hence responsible for their recycling and disposal. This is extremely important in the presented case, as both components incorporate toxic and environmentally harmful materials. The case illustrates an additional positive effect resulting from the shift of responsibility: as OSRAM is responsible for the recharging of the batteries, it adds to the positive sustainability impacts by integrating solar power to its system. The use of solar panels is only feasible by taking advantage from economies of scale at the recharging stations. This finding supports research on PSS, in which the generation of synergies is explicitly mentioned as a major benefit of PSS (Manzini & Velozzi, 2002).
More generally, Pawar et al. (2009) identified the challenge of “designing value” in order
Table 5. Overall assessment of sustainability effects
to successfully implement PSS. Furthermore, the need of being able “to model” a PSS was identified (Baines et al., 2007). The presented approach - especially the separate evaluation of technological and PSS levels - may add value by providing an in-depth understanding on how and where value is created and where additional value might be created. Hence, the taken approach may add to the further understanding of a PSS’s sustainability effects.