While a consensus appears to have evolved among many sustainability researchers and practitioners that sustainable development at the societal level is not very likely without the sustainable development of organizations, the business model as a key initiating component of corporate sustainability has only recently moved into the focus of sustainability management research. Apparently, the usual approaches to sustainable development of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and technological process and product innovation are insufficient to create the necessary radical transformation of organizations, industries, and societies toward genuine, substantive sustainable development. More in-depth research is needed on whether both modified and completely new business models can help develop integrative and competitive solutions by either radically reducing negative and/or creating positive external effects for the natural environment and society.


Business model, sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainability innovation, organisational transformation, market transformation, research agenda, Organization & Environment, special issue


Schaltegger, S.; Hansen, E. & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2016): Business Models for Sustainability: Origins, Present Research, and Future Avenues, Organization & Environment, Vol. 29, No. 1, 3-10.

Journal website | ResearchGate

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