SUMMIT, Sustainable Management Methods Integrating Tool-Kit and Prepare Plus

A individual company and process evaluation defines the tools-mix of sustainable orientated management methods implemented in the companies. The well know in Instrument Prepare will be further developed adding the innovation strategy TRIZ "systematic inventing", making the new Prepare plus instrument.

Short Description




Following the principles of sustainable technology and organizational development, a systemic over-all strategy for the implementation of sustainability on a company level, using well known management approaches was developed. Communication-, cooperation- and coordination principles are combined with management tools, so that the often ambiguous and abstract concept of sustainability can actually become part of the corporate policy and daily praxis of future-oriented small and medium sized companies. The SUMMIT Strategy - Sustainable Management Methods Integrating Tool-Kit - is built out of several modules and tools, which were developed together with selected Austrian companies in a process of continuous collective acting.

The first module is the SUMMIT Methods Register. Here all the practices, systems and tools currently available with a connection to sustainable development in respect of social, ecological and economic criterions were collected in a database. This includes approaches like PREPARE, ECODESIGN, innovation methods like TRIZ, value analysis, QFD, etc. but also management system standards etc.

For this register, also an upgrade of the successful PREPARE approach for the optimisation of production systems by integrated environmental protection approaches was developed in the form of the PREPARE PLUS approach. Elements of TRIZ, a well established method to systematically stimulate innovative ideas for problem solving by analogies were integrated into the problem solving stage. Tools were developed ( to support the implementation of this novel approach and tested.

The second module is the SUMMIT Sustainability Check, an auditing instrument, which includes an extensive company analysis. The auditing results give a picture of a company´s status regarding the stage of progress towards the criteria Sustainable Development. The potential for the implementation of sustainable visions is highlighted, together with the most effective approach to take the company from its current status towards sustainable development for the company.

The third module is the SUMMIT Tools Matrix, a combination of the Method Register and the criterions of the Sustainable Check. Knowing the company's actual state it is possible to fill the gaps and support the strengths. In that way, the matrix will be used to tailor-made select the management tools, which support the promotion of a sustainable establishment in the company.

These elements have been finished and are combined in an easy usable internet tool available at

Case studies and demonstration projects with several companies have been conducted. The sustainability audits, identifying strengths and gaps and selecting appropriate tools and a programme for the companies helped to prove the feasibility and the efficiency of the developed strategy.

The results show, that significant improvement could be achieved by taking the steps identified using the SUMMIT Tool. The collection of available and published management tools, identifying their contribution to a sustainable development of companies, developing a corresponding audit procedure and the application of this concept to small and medium sized companies is the innovative step, which facilitates the quick know-how overview of qualified management instruments for the sustainable company development.

Project Partners


Dr. Johannes Fresner

Projekt- und Kooperationspartner

  • Austria Recycling & Co. Consulting GmbH, Wien
  • Adelphi Research gGmbH, Berlin
  • DI Dr. LACKNER Reinhard, Holztechnikum Kuchl
  • DI Walter Stahel, Institut für Produktdauer-Forschung, Genf
  • Montanuniversität Leoben, Außeninstitut
  • Technische Universität Graz, Institut für Grundlagen der Verfahrenstechnik und Anlagentechnik

Contact Address

Dr. Johannes Fresner
Adresse: 8020 Graz, Geidorfgürtel 21
Tel./Fax: +43(0)316 367156-0