Article    Peer-Reviewed

A Systems Thinking Perspective on the Obstacles Faced by Industrial Organizations to Transition towards Sustainability

Henri Giudici * , Kristin Falk , Gerrit Muller , Dag Eirik Helle and Erik Drilen
Department of Science and Industry Systems, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), 3616 Kongsberg, Norway
For correspondence.
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Highlights of Sustainability, 2024, 3(2), 240–254.
Received: 26 November 2023    Accepted: 16 April 2024    Published: 10 May 2024
The climate crisis threatens the sustainable development of our planet. Mitigating the complexity of the sustainable challenge needs a holistic and systematic perspective. Systems solutions, such as systems thinking and systems engineering, can help to mitigate such challenges. Systems engineering in particular has to assist in transdisciplinary development and cooperation. Methods, tools, and methodologies in systems engineering can be key enablers to align the present world condition towards sustainable trajectories. To align with the sustainable transition, industrial organizations need to integrate sustainability at their core: the system’s development. Realizing socio-technical systems that are sustainable is not a triviality. Based on industry interviews and a literature study, this article discusses these challenges and presents how systems thinking and systems engineering disciplines may support industries to mitigate the same. To realize sustainable systems this work suggests i) identifying sustainability as a quality of the system; ii) collecting environmentally sustainable (big) data; and iii) establishing a collaborative environment among stakeholders where to discuss challenges related to the system’s lifecycle.
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Copyright © 2024 Giudici et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use and distribution provided that the original work is properly cited.
This study was funded by the Norwegian Research Council with grant number 317862.
Cite this Article
Giudici, H., Falk, K., Muller, G., Helle, D. E., & Drilen, E. (2024). A Systems Thinking Perspective on the Obstacles Faced by Industrial Organizations to Transition towards Sustainability. Highlights of Sustainability, 3(2), 240–254.
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