Responsabilit socitale et dveloppement durable

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Designing backcasting scenarios for resilient energy futures

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Publication date: Available online 9 February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Yusuke Kishita, Benjamin C. McLellan, Damien Giurco, Kazumasu Aoki, Go Yoshizawa, Itsuki C. Handoh

The concept of resilience is a crucial part in crafting visions of desirable futures designed to withstand the widest variety of external shocks to the system. Backcasting scenarios are widely used to envision desirable futures with a discontinuous change from the present in mind. However, less effort has been devoted to developing theoretical frameworks and methods for building backcasting scenarios with a particular focus on resilience, although resilience has been explored in related sustainability fields. This paper proposes a method that helps design backcasting scenarios for resilient futures. A characteristic of the method is to delineate “collapse” futures, based upon which resilient futures are described to avoid the various collapsed states. In the process of designing backcasting scenarios, fault tree analysis (FTA) is used to support the generation of various risk factors and countermeasures to improve resilience. In order to test the effectiveness of the proposed method, we provide a case study to describe resilient energy systems for a Japanese community to 2030. Four expert workshops involving researchers from different disciplines were organized to generate diversified ideas on resilient energy systems. The results show that three scenarios of collapsed energy systems were described, in which policy options to be taken toward achieving resilient energy systems were derived.

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Performance indicators for collaborative business ecosystems — Literature review and trends

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Publication date: March 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 116

Author(s): Paula Graça, Luís M. Camarinha-Matos

Nowadays, more and more enterprises are aware and motivated to adhere to collaborative platforms as business enablers, allowing groups of companies to improve their offer and competitiveness. As such, the concept of business ecosystem is becoming prominent. However, despite the evidences of collaboration benefits, for which some research efforts have been made, there is still a lack of suitable performance indicators and associated metrics to assess those benefits, promoting sustainability and resilience of the members of a collaborative business ecosystem. The analysis of the literature shows that a number of contributions can be found in several research fields, such as enterprise performance indicators, collaboration benefits, value systems, supply chain collaboration, and social network analysis. The purpose of this paper is to survey these areas, highlighting their potential contributions concerning the assessment of collaborative benefits and performance. The analysis also identifies the strengths and weaknesses of current proposals regarding the establishment of adequate performance indicators for collaborative business ecosystems.

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Replacing centralised waste and sanitation infrastructure with local treatment and nutrient recycling: Expert opinions in the context of urban planning

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Publication date: Available online 21 February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Maarit Särkilahti, Viljami Kinnunen, Riitta Kettunen, Ari Jokinen, Jukka Rintala

Solutions for resource scarcity should be sought from urban waste management and sanitation, which are characterised by central plants and long networks. The socio-technical transition to more sustainable infrastructure is expected to include partial decentralisation based on local conditions. This paper focuses on drivers, barriers and enablers in implementing a decentralised circular system in a new residential area (Tampere, Finland). In the alternative system, biowaste and feces are treated in a local biogas plant, and nutrient and energy output are utilised within the area. This research aims to understand what kind of urban planning enables alternative infrastructure, as well as the characteristics of an innovation capable of making a breakthrough. Seventeen infrastructure planning experts were interviewed, then assembled to re-develop ideas arising from the interviews. Based on these qualitatively analysed data, 11 factors which help the adoption of the alternative system were formulated. The results indicate that sustainability transition can be facilitated through impartial urban planning that allows the early participation of actors and improved communications. Additionally, studying the impact of alternative solutions and city guidance according to environmental policy aims may enhance transition. Innovation success factors include suitable locations, competent partners, mature technology and visible local benefits.

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Policy networks in energy transitions: The cases of carbon capture and storage and offshore wind in Norway

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Publication date: Available online 13 February 2017
Source:Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Author(s): Håkon Endresen Normann

This paper employs the concept of policy networks to study how interest groups and actors compete over the influence of energy and climate policy. It is argued that the creation of learning arenas is critical for the development of immature technologies. The paper then analyses two large efforts to secure state funding of large-scale demonstration projects for offshore wind and carbon capture and storage technology in Norway. The paper describes a range of similarities between these two technologies in terms of scale, maturity, and costs, and in the way they represent possible solutions to the problem of climate change. However, the paper also describes enormous differences in government support towards full-scale demonstration. These differences are then explained in the analysis, which shows how different network structures facilitate different levels of access to the policy making process. The paper provides insights into how the interplay between state interests, political party strategies and the interests of firms influences the potency for solutions tied to climate and energy problems. The paper therefore contributes to the discourse on the role of politics in sustainability transitions.

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