Think Systemically


Think systemically: consider the full lifecycle impact of products and services (for example in the design, development, delivery, use, end of life and recommissioning stages) and how decisions made across the business and value chain are connected in terms of their influence on the ecosystems and social systems in which the organisation operates.


To what extent do you approach understanding your organisation's sustainability by assessing connections between environmental and social impacts across the business and the value chain?

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Whole Systems and Lifecycle Thinking

This short clip provides a great introduction to applying whole systems and lifecycle thinking to a product using the example of a clothes dryer. It was developed as a part of the Autodesk Education Community's Sustainability Workshop. The page also has a slide deck and video script, as well as links to information on Life Cycle Assessment, The Rocky Mountain Institute's 10xE design principles, and biomimicry.

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Keywords: Building a Language of Systems Change

What are common words used by system-builders and system-changers, and what meaning do they hold? This report, developed out of a workshop at Oxford University, addresses the challenge of language in systems change, and includes short explanations for 15 keywords that may help clarify systematic thinking within your organisation.

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The Climate Change Playbook

The Climate Change Playbook has 22 interactive games, or short exercises, you can use to help people in your organisation build their capacity for systems thinking and understand important facts and aspects of climate change. The instructions for each game also include a guided debrief and discussion questions.

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Sustainability of Products: What it’s all about

In this document, Cefic introduces the case for life cycle thinking through the lens of the chemical industry. The report discusses how companies can make science-based choices in product development and assessment, and walks the reader through an integrated life cycle approach and closed loop approach. It also goes into more detail by diving into the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Social Life Cycle Assessment (Social LCA).

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