Tom 29 Nr 2 (2023)

The concept of a sustainable business model: Opportunities and challenges

Strony: 93-105

PDF (English)


The concept of sustainable development is considered one of the most important and urgent challenges facing humanity today. Therefore, solutions that promote sustainable business are of particular importance. The purpose of this article was to explore the concept of a business model as a potentially promising way of shaping the contribution of businesses to sustainable development. A systematic literature review method was used to identify, analyze and critically evaluate the first theoretical proposals for the concept of a sustainable business model. Fundamental differences between the proposed conceptualizations were identified, stemming from different understandings of the business model concept on the one hand, and from its embedding in different, partly contradictory approaches, to corporate contributions to sustainable development, on the other. The article adapts the holistic approach of corporate sustainability and the understanding of the business model as a representation of the essence of business including the proposition, creation, delivery and capture of value. As a result, key elements of the emerging new ontology of the sustainable business model have been identified and defined. The proposed concept of a sustainable business model primarily means adopting a different logic of business, and the basis for defining the various elements of the business model is the reconstruction of the concept of value. The sustainability of a business model is thus referred to the extent to which this model maximizes benefits while reducing economic, social, and environmental damage, and creates value not only for the company and its customers but also for various stakeholder groups. The main part of the article is a systematic identification of the opportunities and challenges associated with the new proposal. These are discussed according to the key elements of the sustainable business model, which are: the value proposition, value creation and value capture.


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