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A value mapping tool for sustainable business modelling

Nancy Bocken (Lead Researcher, Department of Engineering, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Samuel Short (Doctoral Researcher, Department of Engineering, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Padmakshi Rana (Research Associate, Department of Engineering, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Steve Evans (Professor, Department of Engineering, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

Corporate Governance

ISSN: 1472-0701

Article publication date: 14 October 2013

Abstract

Purpose

Although business models that deliver sustainability are increasingly popular in the literature, few tools that assist in sustainable business modelling have been identified. This paper investigates how businesses might create balanced social, environmental and economic value through integrating sustainability more fully into the core of their business. A value mapping tool is developed to help firms create value propositions better suited for sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to a literature review, six sustainable companies were interviewed to understand their approaches to business modelling, using a case study approach. Building on the literature and practice, a tool was developed which was pilot tested through use in a workshop. The resulting improved tool and process was subsequently refined through use in 13 workshops.

Findings

A novel value mapping tool was developed to support sustainable business modelling, which introduces three forms of value (value captured, missed/destroyed or wasted, and opportunity) and four major stakeholder groups (environment, society, customer, and network actors).

Practical implications

This tool intends to support business modelling for sustainability by assisting firms in better understanding their overall value proposition, both positive and negative, for all relevant stakeholders in the value network.

Originality/value

The tool adopts a multiple stakeholder view of value, a network rather than firm centric perspective, and introduces a novel way of conceptualising value that specifically introduces value destroyed or wasted/ missed, in addition to the current value proposition and new opportunities for value creation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper builds on work undertaken on SustainValue, a European Commission's 7th Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013). The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the European Commission, and the contribution of the academic and industrial partners on this project in developing and testing the ideas presented herein.

Citation

Bocken, N., Short, S., Rana, P. and Evans, S. (2013), "A value mapping tool for sustainable business modelling", Corporate Governance, Vol. 13 No. 5, pp. 482-497. https://doi.org/10.1108/CG-06-2013-0078

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited