This article discusses developments in the area of product service systems (PSS) and the need to facilitate the proliferation of the PSS approach through public policies. The article argues that policies that establish the framework conditions for environmental improvement are preferable to detailed legislation as they favour environmentally superior PSS. However, there is also a need for more specifically targeted policy measures that stimulate knowledge creation and dissemination in the PSS area. This article suggests that informative policy measures should be used by authorities and reviews the results from the functional programme of the Swedish EPA as an example of this type of policy. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.