ChatGPT Meets Doughnut Economics

Designing Doughnut Products and Supply Chains Using Generative AI

As part of the Design for Sustainability and Circularity Framework Programme led by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is actively exploring the integration of Doughnut thinking into the design of forthcoming products and the structuring of their supply chains. We envision that the Doughnut Economic Model can serve as a valuable tool in anticipating and understanding potential environmental and social impacts throughout the supply chain. By leveraging this model, we aim to proactively identify areas of concern, facilitating the development of effective solutions and strategies to mitigate adverse effects. 

A significant hurdle we faced in our endeavours stems from the extensive analysis required at every stage of the supply chain, compounded by a scarcity of readily available knowledge and information in certain segments. Recognising this challenge, we anticipate harnessing the capabilities of cutting-edge Generative Artificial Intelligence technologies, exemplified by advanced large language models like ChatGPT. These technologies prove particularly valuable in the initial phases of the innovation cycle, aiding in the comprehensive mapping of impacts against each of the nine planetary boundaries and pinpointing effects on the twelve social foundations. By leveraging such advanced tools, we aim to enhance our analytical depth and precision, ultimately paving the way for more informed and sustainable decision-making within the complex landscape of supply chain dynamics.

Thus far, in collaboration with an innovative start-up, we have undertaken the mapping of both current and prospective future supply chains for an alternative protein product. This comprehensive mapping encompasses the entire product lifecycle journey, spanning resource extraction, materials processing, agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and end-of-life. 

Although we are still in the early stages of this initiative, several significant benefits have been identified:

  • ChatGPT can play a crucial role in accurately mapping and detailing existing supply chains, especially in upstream elements where visibility was limited. This was facilitated by employing a well-phrased series of questions.

  • ChatGPT has proven instrumental in identifying impacts such as land-use change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, particularly those occurring upstream in mining activities and agricultural practices, which might have otherwise been overlooked.

  • The analysis aids in pinpointing issues within the current supply chain, transforming them into opportunities for future product innovation and supply chain optimization.

  • The information gathered contributes to strengthening the commercial business case for new products, showcasing the broader benefits in terms of sustainability and social value on both local and global scales. This has the potential to assist innovative start-ups in securing investment and attracting customers.

We have been utilising ChatGPT 3.5 in our analysis, a free accessible tool for all. However, its capabilities are constrained in terms of access to up-to-date information and how it presents this. We are now looking to investigate ChatGPT 4.0, as it offers capabilities and functionality for more advanced analysis. This will inform our Design for Sustainability and Circularity Framework, designing products fit for the 21st Century, which takes into consideration the Planet, People and Prosperity. 

To stay informed on our project, join the LinkedIn Group:

“Sustainable, by Design: Designing for the Planet, People and Prosperity - Industry 5.0”: 

# planetaryboudaries hashtag_lookup:#planetaryboudaries # productdesign hashtag_lookup:#productdesign # SupplyChainResilience hashtag_lookup:#SupplyChainResilience # innovation hashtag_lookup:#innovation  # socialimpact hashtag_lookup:#socialimpact # circulareconomy hashtag_lookup:#circulareconomy # sustainableinnovation hashtag_lookup:#sustainableinnovation 




    Shak Gohir


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