Front page to the report: Green Business Model Innovation from 2012.

Green Business Model Innovation

Green Business Model Innovation is when a business changes parts of its business model and thereby captures economic value as well as reduces the ecological footprint in a life-cycle perspective.

This report is from 2012. To see our latest work with business models, please visit the Nordic Circular Economy Playbook or our Circular Business Models program (2021 - 2024).

There are many terms in the public and academic debate about how companies green their business and how they are categorised as green companies. The concepts of the green economy, green growth, and eco-industries all emphasise sustainable use of resources, so that future generations may not experience resource scarcities or be exposed to environmental risks and thus be worse off than previous generations.

While new ways of talking about sustainability are being shaped, companies are increasingly recognising that it can be a source of innovation that can help them become more competitive by either developing new products and services based on new technology (i.e. greentech and cleantech) or by making changes to their business models. These changes are here referred to as companies’ green business model innovation. Companies might innovate by substituting to greener inputs, reusing or recycling resources, offering their product as a service function while continuing to have ownership of the products, or by developing greener products, services and processes. Policy needs to be developed in new ways if green growth and green business model innovation is to be enhanced.

Dialog between the regulative authorities and private companies can pave the way for a common understanding of the challenges, and the need for new solution and new regulation to go hand in hand. Pilot projects and role models based on public procurement can enable the proliferation of collaboration between regulative authorities and private companies on future regulation.