Working Paper Article Version 4 This version is not peer-reviewed

Sustainable Business Models: A Review

Version 1 : Received: 13 October 2018 / Approved: 17 October 2018 / Online: 17 October 2018 (08:34:46 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 25 January 2019 / Approved: 26 January 2019 / Online: 26 January 2019 (03:12:23 CET)
Version 3 : Received: 6 February 2019 / Approved: 6 February 2019 / Online: 6 February 2019 (15:17:52 CET)
Version 4 : Received: 21 March 2019 / Approved: 28 March 2019 / Online: 28 March 2019 (08:49:06 CET)

How to cite: Nosratabadi, S.; Mosavi, A.; Shamshirband, S.; Zavadskas, E.K.; Rakotonirainy, A.; Chau, K.W. Sustainable Business Models: A Review. Preprints 2018, 2018100378 Nosratabadi, S.; Mosavi, A.; Shamshirband, S.; Zavadskas, E.K.; Rakotonirainy, A.; Chau, K.W. Sustainable Business Models: A Review. Preprints 2018, 2018100378


During the past two decades of e-commerce growth, the concept of a business model has become increasingly popular. More recently, the research on this realm has grown rapidly, with diverse research activity covering a wide range of application areas. Considering the sustainable development goals, the innovative business models have brought a competitive advantage to improve the sustainability performance of organizations. The concept of the sustainable business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value, in economic, social, cultural, or other contexts, in a sustainable way. The process of sustainable business model construction forms an innovative part of a business strategy. Different industries and businesses have utilized sustainable business models’ concept to satisfy their economic, environmental, and social goals simultaneously. However, the success, popularity, and progress of sustainable business models in different application domains are not clear. To explore this issue, this research provides a comprehensive review of sustainable business models literature in various application areas. Notable sustainable business models are identified and further classified in fourteen unique categories, and in every category, the progress -either failure or success- has been reviewed, and the research gaps are discussed. Taxonomy of the applications includes innovation, management and marketing, entrepreneurship, energy, fashion, healthcare, agri-food, supply chain management, circular economy, developing countries, engineering, construction and real estate, mobility and transportation, and hospitality. The key contribution of this study is that it provides an insight into the state of the art of sustainable business models in various application areas and future research directions. This paper concludes that popularity and the success rate of sustainable business models in all application domains have been increased along with the increasing use of advanced technologies.

Supplementary and Associated Material link to published paper


sustainable business model; sustainable development; sustainability; business model; review; survey; state-of-the-art; climate change; climate protection; global warming; research method; circular economy; sustainable mobility; mitigation; adaptation


Business, Economics and Management, Business and Management

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