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Business models and business cases for financial sustainability: Insights on corporate sustainability in the Swedish farm-based biogas industry
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, The Rydberg Laboratory for Applied Sciences (RLAS). Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3068-5269
2019 (English)In: Sustainable Production and Consumption, ISSN 2352-5509, E-ISSN 1614-2373, Vol. 18, p. 115-129Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, Swedish farmers have begun investing in biogas technology in an attempt to become more sustainable. Biogas production from organic waste on farms combines renewable energy production with increased resource efficiency. However, many farmers have found this activity less profitable than expected. This paper investigates the corporate sustainability strategy used by Swedish farm businesses, in particular how this strategy influences the development of business models and business cases for sustainability in the effort to increase economic profitability from biogas production. A questionnaire, administered to farm business managers, was used to collect the paper’s empirical data. The study’s findings show that the farmers currently use a reactive corporate sustainability strategy that hinders profits because biogas production is realized as an indirect financial business case for sustainability. The study concludes that the farmers could benefit financially from biogas production if they adopted a proactive corporate sustainability strategy. Such a strategy, if adopted, enables the development of a business model for sustainability, the capture of sustainable value for stakeholders, and the creation of biogas production as a direct financial business case for sustainability. This study contributes to the literature on business cases for sustainability, specifically in how their creation is connected to, and influenced by, the corporate sustainability strategy and by related business model changes. The study adds to our understanding of how sustainable investments can contribute to long-term, sustainable business success. © 2019 Institution of Chemical Engineers

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 18, p. 115-129
Keywords [en]
Sustainability, Business models, Business cases, Biogas, Farmers
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-38864DOI: 10.1016/j.spc.2019.01.005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85061101576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-38864DiVA, id: diva2:1286861
Projects
Biogas 2020 EU-Interreg ÖKSAvailable from: 2019-02-08 Created: 2019-02-08 Last updated: 2019-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, Niklas

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  • apa
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