Title: Business cases for sustainability: the role of business model innovation for corporate sustainability

Authors: Stefan Schaltegger; Florian Lüdeke-Freund; Erik G. Hansen

Addresses: Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr, 1, D-21335 Lüneburg, Germany. ' Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr, 1, D-21335 Lüneburg, Germany. ' Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM), Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Scharnhorststr, 1, D-21335 Lüneburg, Germany

Abstract: A considerable body of literature deals with the creation of economic value while increasing corporate environmental and social performance. Some publications even focus on the business case for sustainability which aims at increasing corporate economic value through environmental or social measures. The existence of a business case for sustainability is, however, mostly seen as an ad hoc measure, a supplement to the core business, or simply a coincidence. As a contrast, this paper argues that business model innovations may be required to support a systematic, ongoing creation of business cases for sustainability. A framework for business model innovation is proposed as a means to strategically create business cases on a regular basis as an inherent, deeply integrated element of business activities.

Keywords: business cases; case drivers; business models; radical innovation; corporate sustainability; corporate social responsibility; CSR; sustainability strategies; proactive strategies; environmental strategies; strategic management; conceptual models; value creation; economic value; environmental performance; social performance; corporate value; environmental measures; social measures; ad hoc measures; core businesses; coincidence; systematic creation; ongoing creation; inherent elements; integrated elements; business activities; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2012.046944

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2012 Vol.6 No.2, pp.95 - 119

Received: 04 Aug 2011
Accepted: 05 Jan 2012

Published online: 18 May 2012 *

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