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How can sustainable service provisioning be achieved?

In this new Misum Academic Insight, Kaisa Koskela-Huotari and her co-authors explore how a systemic approach can be used to be achieve sustainable service provisioning, within the context of consumer-retailer food waste reduction.

The Academic Insight is based on the research article: “Drivers and Hinderers of (Un)Sustainable Service: A Systems View” published in the Journal of Service Research in 2024.

Humankind faces several planetary crises, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste. We are still far from operating within the boundaries of what the planet can support. Recognizing this reality, it is imperative to rethink how we utilize and manage our resources. However, achieving sustainable service provisioning poses a challenge, particularly in evaluating and implementing ecological sustainability measures. While social sustainability has received some attention in service research, there is a lack of theoretical understanding of environmental sustainability and the factors that contribute to unsustainable outcomes.

To better understand what sustainability is and why it is so difficult to achieve in the context of service provisioning, this study specifically addresses the challenge of food waste. Adopting a systems view, the researchers investigate the specific mechanisms leading to (un)sustainable outcomes in service provisioning, focusing on the role of food retailers in the context of food waste reduction. By examining this issue, the study aims to address a prevalent sustainability problem and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges involved.

Read the full Misum Academic Insight here.


  • Kaisa Koskela-Huotari, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics
  • Kristin Svärd, PhD Student, CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad
  • Helén Williams, Associate Professor, Environmental and Energy Systems, Karlstad University, Karlstad
  • Jakob Trischler, Associate Professor, CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad
  • Fredrik Wikström, Professor, Environmental and Energy Systems, Karlstad University, Karlstad