Strategies and drivers of sustainable business model innovation

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As with any type of innovation, business model innovation is a means to alter and extend the ability of firms to act effectively and efficiently. With its focus on proposing and creating value, business model innovation has become a major technique with which to develop new and change existing forms of organizational value creation. The emerging field of research and practice on sustainable business models (SBMs) has taken up this approach in order to understand and develop new forms of value creation that offer sustainable value propositions to customers and all other stakeholders, and that allow firms to capture economic value while they maintain or even regenerate natural, social and economic capital. This chapter proposes a framework of sustainable business model innovation (SBMI), building on one decade of SBM research, and relates SBMI explicitly to the vision of sustainable development. We show that a major task of SBMI is to translate sustainability strategies into actionable ‘blueprints’ of value-creating activities of firms. SBMI address so called business case drivers, referring to costs, risks, reputation, and so on and successful SBMI improve these business case drivers by integrating positive contributions to a sustainable development of the natural environment and society and business success. The conceptual considerations are illustrated with a case of an ecologically and socially motivated business.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Sustainable Innovation
EditorsFrank Boons, Andrew McMeekin
Number of pages23
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2019
Article number6
ISBN (Print)978-1-78811-256-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78811-257-4
Publication statusPublished - 2019