Organisational sustainability readiness: a model and assessment tool for manufacturing companies
Journal article, 2021

Manufacturing plays a major role in the economic and social development of society, yet this often comes at a high environmental cost. Despite great advances in our understanding of sustainability issues and solutions developed to tackle this challenge, current production and consumption models are still largely unsustainable. Strong industrial actions are required to move towards safer and cleaner practices respectful of the planetary boundaries. This paper puts forward a novel approach for top and middle management in manufacturing companies to build capabilities for sustainable manufacturing by assessing their organisational sustainability readiness. The proposed model and tool for organisational sustainability readiness were developed based on themes emerging from empirical data collected via interviews and focus groups in six companies. The resulting themes were consolidated and validated with relevant literature to create four levels of readiness, displaying a crescendo of operations management practices on the shop floor that positively affect sustainability performance. Finally, an industrial application was used to further validate the tool and demonstrate how it can help companies develop a roadmap for a more sustainable manufacturing industry.

readiness assessment

sustainable manufacturing

corporate strategy

production systems

capability assessment

performance management


Ilaria Giovanna Barletta

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Mélanie Despeisse

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Steven Hoffenson

Stevens Institute of Technology

Björn Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Journal of Cleaner Production

0959-6526 (ISSN)

Vol. 284 125404

Ecoprodigi (Eco-efficiency to maritime industry processes in the Baltic Sea Region through digitalisation)

Interreg, 2017-09-01 -- 2020-08-31.

European Commission (EC) (171104), 2017-09-01 -- 2020-08-31.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Environmental Management

Economics and Business

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance




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