Product design as a key to a business system perspective that promotes sustainable forestry


  • Reine Karlsson University of Kalmar
  • Magnus Löf Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Donald Huisingh University of Tennessee, Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies


integration, renewable resources, innovation system, hardwood product system, sustainable regional development


A sustainable business system should uphold a core value linkage between customer interests and business operations and their foundation in natural and human resource values. However, in many industrial economies, companies in the established business systems, all too frequently seek to obtain the natural and human resources at lowest short-term costs while paying little or no attention to the long-term sustainability of the natural and human systems upon which their sustainable livelihood is dependent. This paper presents an innovation approach with the objective to create higher market value for hard-wood products and to increase system effectiveness by helping to enhance the multiple uses of forests. One objective is to use the entire eco-system and product design as essential elements to bring more resources into the forestry-based business system. This should serve as a strong catalyst to build greater motivation for sustainable management of the entire system. The resources are used to support development of sustainable, diverse-species forests and local, regional and global businesses, and thus, help to develop an improved, sustainable forest system as an integral component of more sustainable regional development. One part of the innovation system advancement is opportunity based learning in collaboration with entrepreneurial business developments. The innovation system is designed to increase the supply chain efficiency and effectiveness and to promote business development of new forest-based products and services with higher added value. The mutual involvement of landowners, municipalities, enterprises and customers is needed to assure sustainability on social, biodiversity and business levels. The value enhancement has a basis in creation of company images and a market perception that more clearly highlights the valuable feeling of being in contact with the treasures of nature. One tool to highlight the interconnections is storytelling. The innovation system has a foundation of expertise in established forest-based businesses. The present development phase is designed to support transformative innovations through promotion of further development of the forest-based business system to produce higher added value and to enable a more sustainable forestry and thus a more sustainable society.

Author Biographies

Reine Karlsson, University of Kalmar

Professor EcoDesign

Magnus Löf, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences


Donald Huisingh, University of Tennessee, Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies

Professor, Chif Editor Journal of Cleaner Production



How to Cite

Karlsson, R., Löf, M., & Huisingh, D. (2006). Product design as a key to a business system perspective that promotes sustainable forestry. Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2006, Sonoma, CA, USA. Retrieved from



Systems Applications in Business & Industry