At the core of a sustainable business model is the belief in long term growth and profitability by including environmental and social impact in the business model. In other words: revenues are not limited to financial gain and take environmental and social “growth” into account as well. It also involves more stakeholders from your ecosystem.
Sustainable business models are still being explored and can take many forms. That’s why we are giving you some examples to inspire you:
- MIT Sloan presentation on how companies are realising the benefits of changing business models for sustainability success (webinar);
- circular economy: Sprint’s BuyBack programme, a profitable take-back programme that gives customers credit for trading in their old phones, while helping close the loop on some valuable materials. Have a look at the in-depth description in this video;
- sharing economy; AirBnB shows how sharing can lead to a successful new business model;
- green products; DSM created a new line of Ecoproducts, that contributes to the bottom line.
- pre-competitive collaboration between UPS and USPS targeting ambitious reductions of both companies’ carbon emissions. USPS takes advantage of UPS’ global transportation network and UPS in turn benefits from USPS’ ability to deliver to ‘the last mile’ — residential addresses in small or remote towns in the U.S.
- local communities: The Fibershed Marketplace, which uses fibers it obtains from local farmers and ranchers within 150 miles of San Geronimo, CA. It then has these fibres processed into a finished “fibershed garment” by artisans from the same region.
Business model canvas
If you need a good format to work from, you can use the business model canvas. It’s a visually attractive and easy to work with way to mould your business model.