Business model innovation for the sustainable development goals

Rosati, Francesco and Rodrigues, Vinicius P. and Cosenz, Federico and Li-Ying, Jason (2023) Business model innovation for the sustainable development goals. Business Strategy and Environment, 32 (6). pp. 3752-3765. ISSN 0964-4733 (

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Business model innovation can be a key driver to realizing the transformation needed to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, the SDGs can support organizations as they identify and tackle opportunities for business model innovation. This study uses a constructive research method to build a managerial approach that supports business model innovation for the SDGs. The approach helps organizations assess their contribution to the SDGs, explore and prioritize SDG-oriented business opportunities and risks, and formulate business model innovation strategies accordingly. The proposed approach was developed through participatory action research conducted in collaboration with two companies operating in the medical and educational sectors and then applied to Ørsted, a multinational power company, which is strongly committed to a sustainability-driven business transformation and aspires to contribute strongly to SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy) and SDG 13 (Climate action). The study furthers the academic and practical debate on business model innovation for sustainability by providing new academic and practical knowledge on how organizations can use the SDGs to stimulate business model innovations.