event 12 апр. 2022

Research Article // Characterizing and Defining of Designing Sustainable Product-Service Systems Applied to Distributed Water-Energy-Food Nexus

By Meng Gao, Renke He, Carlo Vezzoli, Ma Ke and Yuting Zhang. This study shows that Sustainable Product-Service System (SPSS) and Distributed Economies (DE) models play key roles in designing WEF Nexus solutions towards a service-oriented and result-oriented offering model shifting with the distributed small-scale network. Simultaneously, Distributed WEF Nexus was developed and defined to use the benefits of distributed structure to achieve WEF solutions that are more flexible, near to end-users, customized, and quickly respond to sustainable challenges.

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FIGURE 1 | The win-win model of SPSS applied to DE (LeNSin, 2015–2020).


The Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus significantly and effectively address sustainability issues internationally. However, there has been little attention paid to the WEF Nexus challenges related to sustainable livelihoods, such as resource access, resource security, and resource utilization. Given the need to establish design research, policy formulation, and resource management based on end-user needs, new research hypotheses and available models must be proposed on a small-scale scale of households and communities. This paper combines the Sustainable Product-Service System (SPSS) and Distributed Economies (DE), two prospective and intertwined models combining environmental, social, and economic sustainability with the WEF Nexus approach, to emphasize the shift to small-scale and highly localized WEF systems and the product and service system based on the satisfaction unit, i.e., designing SPSS applied to Distributed WEF Nexus. This paradigm shift is presented and detailed in an 11-dimensional canvas with an analytical, conceptual research approach to help to define and analyze the characteristics of existing solutions and promote innovative ideas or scenarios in a sustainable WEF nexus. The new 11-dimensional canvas tool, in particular, is thought to have the potential to become a basic research analysis and innovative strategic tool in this field after being tested and evaluated by forty companies, experts, and designers in China and Italy. Finally, despite considerable implementation obstacles, this innovative application of multi-mode integration still has the potential for win-win sustainability, to meet human needs for clean water, safe energy, and sufficient food, ultimately accelerating the transition to a sustainable society.


March 2022


Frontiers in Environmental Sciences


Gao, M., He, R., Carlo, V., Ke, M., & Zhang, Y. (2022). Characterizing and defining of designing sustainable product-service systems applied to distributed water-energy-food nexus. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 224


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