University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

A framework to explore the functioning and sustainability of business models

Bradley, Peter, Parry, Glenn and O’Regan, Nicholas (2020) A framework to explore the functioning and sustainability of business models Sustainable Production and Consumption, 21. pp. 57-77.

[img] Text
2019 Bradley_et_al_Sustainable business model submitted FINAL.docx - Accepted version Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 5 November 2020.

Download (943kB)


This paper presents a framework to enable case study analysis of sustainable development from business models innovation. Increasing economic development can give rise to trade-offs between economic growth and environmental degradation. Business model innovation can help address such trade-offs by refocusing value creation and capture towards less environmentally damaging activities. Business models therefore provide a critical tool in the move towards sustainable development. In this paper a literature review of existing business model frameworks is conducted and gaps found in the definition and conceptualisation of value, alignment with sustainable development, and assessment of social and environmental impacts and goals. More generally, there is a lack of in depth case studies in the sustainable business model literature. A framework is developed to address these gaps and to allow in depth analysis and understanding of the functioning of business models for sustainable development. Development and piloting of the framework made use of literature and co-operative enquiry. The framework of the paper is applied in depth with a unique energy company case study. Application shows economies of scope to be critical to the delivery of sustainable development. The business model framework addresses equity and distributional issues that are key to sustainable development, but missed by current frameworks.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Bradley, Peter
O’Regan, Nicholas
Date : January 2020
DOI : 10.1016/j.spc.2019.10.007
Copyright Disclaimer : ©2019 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Business model; Sustainability; Corporate sustainability; Sustainable management; Sustainable entrepreneurship; Innovation; Transformation; Organisational development; Value proposition; Value maximising
Depositing User : Diane Maxfield
Date Deposited : 06 Jan 2020 14:50
Last Modified : 06 Jan 2020 15:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800