Towards a Conceptual Framework of 'Business Models for Sustainability'
KNOWLEDGE COLLABORATION & LEARNING FOR SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION, R. Wever, J. Quist, A. Tukker, J. Woudstra, F. Boons, N. Beute, eds., Delft, 2010
ERSCP-EMSU Conference 2010, The Netherlands, October 25-29, 2010
28 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2012
Date Written: September 19, 2010
Researchers and practitioners highlight the importance of business for progress in sustainable consumption and production (SCP). In this context business models are discussed as meta factors that can support the adoption of cleaner products and processes, sustainable supply chains and further contributions towards SCP. The article is about business model innovation and the creation of private and public benefits. From a strategy perspective business model innovation is an approach to design, implement and change business models to create and secure competitive advantage. It is supposed that business models can also support eco-innovations. If companies subscribe to sustainability strategies, their business models can help bridging technological innovations, organizational aspects and market positions. Furthermore, the business model itself can become subject to eco-innovation and thus support the realization of business cases for sustainability. The article follows a theoretical, deductive approach. A conceptual framework is developed that combines sustainability strategies, eco-innovation, the role of business models and pivotal ideas about value creation with regard to private and public benefits. This approach is discussed as essential driver of eco-innovations. Starting with sufficiency, efficiency and consistency strategies helps identifying primary challenges and is assumed to be the obvious first step towards a broader research agenda on ‘business models for sustainability’. The framework includes definitions such as ‘business model eco-innovation’ and ‘extended customer value’ and propositions about how these concepts interrelate. It allows for developing further theoretical and empirical research topics. The review shows that the state-of-the-art literature is far from offering such an agenda.
Keywords: sustainability strategy, business model, business model innovation, eco-innovation, sustainability management
JEL Classification: M13, L21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation