To read this content please select one of the options below:

More value from fewer resources: how to expand value stream mapping with ideas from circular economy

Christer Hedlund (Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering, Mittuniversitetet Campus Ostersund, Ostersund, Sweden)
Petter Stenmark (Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering, Mittuniversitetet Campus Ostersund, Ostersund, Sweden)
Erik Noaksson (Region Jämtland Härjedalen, Ostersund, Sweden)
Johan Lilja (Department of Quality Management and Mechanical Engineering, Mittuniversitetet Campus Ostersund, Ostersund, Sweden)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 25 November 2020

Issue publication date: 15 December 2020

810

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss recent trends in the circular economy and investigate how value stream mapping (VSM) can be extended to more fully include some of the critical aspects of circular economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The findings are based on previous research that has explored the usage of VSM to include aspects of the environment and sustainability aspects. These ideas are then expanded to new ways to use VSM by mapping value of a product as it is; used, maintained, re-used, remanufactured, recycled, incinerated or used for landfill. The authors test out this approach through application in the waste management sector to identify possibilities for improvement and new business opportunities in what now is considered waste.

Findings

This paper introduces an expanded version of VSM that refines the existing Lean toolbox for exploring value and mapping value in a circular economy.

Practical implications

The aim of this paper is to expand the relevance and practical value of VSM as the world economy increasingly moves toward a circular one.

Originality/value

Today, VSM is a widespread method within Lean manufacturing that scrutinizes value creation within an organization or within a value chain. This paper describes how VSM can be refined to explore value streams in the afterlife of a product and explore waste as a resource utilization opportunity.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was carried out in the program Interreg Sweden-Norway financed by EU funds and Norwegian IR funds. The program’s overall aim and objective is, through cross-border cooperation, to create the best conditions for an economically strong region with an attractive living environment. The particular project in which this study was conducted is called SMICE which aims at creating a long-term sustainable Jämtland, Härjedalen and Trøndelag.

Funding for this study came from the EU funded program Interreg Sweden Norway.

Citation

Hedlund, C., Stenmark, P., Noaksson, E. and Lilja, J. (2020), "More value from fewer resources: how to expand value stream mapping with ideas from circular economy", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 447-459. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJQSS-05-2019-0070

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles