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In Antony Upward's thesis (Chapter 4) a number of other business model visual design tools are reviewed, mostly developed by practitioners, but a few with academic roots. 

The organizations and people who did this development work are firstly potential collaborators in and co-operators with our efforts; people who might be interested in joining us in the Greenhouse.  But, of course, they may, despite best attempts, end up a competitors (hence the title of this page - co-opetitors).

Since the thesis has been submitted for review, other organizations and academics who have design tools, methods and services in this space have also become apparent.  Note none of these is explicitly strongly sustainable, and most are implicitly (at best) weakly sustainable.

Below the current list...
  • In no particularly order
  • Format of each entries is:
    • For Practitioner works
      • Organization name
      • (location, people with links to Linkedin Profile, connection to members of SSBMG, if any)
      • Description of tool, method, what paper etc. with URL.
      • If this work was cited in Antony Upward's thesis (Chapter 4) a citation is provided.
    • For Academic works
      • Citation is APA format.
    • Any comments on worth, value etc. from SSBMG members are sub-bullets of each entry.



In the profit-first business model academic world the Business Model Community appears to have a strong membership from t he key players globally. 

A nice meta-site on business models and sustainability is maintained by SSBMG member Florian Lüedeke-Freund from Leuphana University (Germany, South of Hamburg) Centre for Sustainability Management sustainablebusinessmodel.org/papers.  Also now accessible via literature.SSBMG.comliterature.SSBMG.com.  With few exceptions the list provided on this site take a "weakly sustainable" / "ecological modernist" stance.

The full list of works cited and consulted in the development of Antony Upward's thesis is available on this refshare website.

A number of these works were summarized, introduced, in a blog post by Prof. Yves Pingeur (co-author Business Model Generation).

Other works, several of which take an implicitly strongly sustainable stance include:
  • Cavagnaro, E., & Curiel, G. H. (2012). The Three Levels of Sustainability. United Kingdom: GreenLeaf. (Fig.1 p.2)
    • See Cavagnaro, E. (2007). Services and Sustainability. In F. Bosker (Ed.), Services and Sustainability: A travelers guide (pp. 1-26). Leeuwarden, The Netherlands: CHN.
  • Cloverleaf Model of Sustainable Industrial Development
  • Jorgensen, H. B. (1993). The "Green Account" of the Danish Steel Works Ltd. Social & Environmental Accounting, 13(1), 2-6. (Fig.1, p.6)
    • Describes the "cloverleaf business model" for sustainability.  The earliest work found that links business models and sustainabuility
    • This work was then used by
      • Birkin, F. (2000). The Art of Accounting for Science: A Prerequisite for Sustainable Development? Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 11(3), 289-309. DOI: 10.1006/cpac.1999.0367
  • Grassl, W. (2012). Business Models of Social Enterprise: A Design Approach to Hybridity. ACRN Journal of Entrepreneurship Perspectives, 1(1), 37-60.
  • Michelini, L. (2012). Social innovation and new business models: creating shared value in low-income markets. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-32150-4 
    Michelini, L., & Fiorentino, D. (2012). New business models for creating shared value. Social Responsibility Journal, 8(4), 561-577. doi:10.1108/17471111211272129
  • Senge, P. M., Seville, D., Lovins, A. B., & Lotspeich, C. (Unpublished, 1999). Chapter 1: The Four Basic Shifts. Systems Thinking Primer for Natural Capitalism (Fig 1, p. 6)
  • Stead, W. E., Stead, J. G., & Starik, M. (2004). Sustainable strategic management. Armonk, New York, U.S.A.: M.E. Sharpe (Fig 5.3, p.84)
  • Stubbs, W., & Cocklin, C. (2008). Conceptualizing a “Sustainability Business Model”. Organization & Environment, 21(2), 103-127. doi:10.1177/108602660831804 (Fig.2 p.124)
  • Yunus, M., Moingeon, B., & Lehmann-Ortega, L. (2010). Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience. Long Range Planning, 43(2-3), 308-325. doi:10.1016/j.lrp.2009.12.005 (Fig.3 p.319)

Design Principles for Strongly Sustainable Business

In addition there are a large number of works which are useful when considering design principles for strongly sustainable businesses.  This topic, started in Antony Upward's thesis (Chapter 4 and 7) is also under active development, since thesis was submitted by members of the SSBMG.  See this blog post for an initial view and the thesis for further details. 

  • Marcus, J., Kurucz, E. C., & Colbert, B. A. (2010). Conceptions of the Business-Society-Nature Interface: Implications for Management Scholarship. Business & Society, 49(3), 402-438. doi:10.1177/0007650310368827
    • This is a critical paper that supports the strongly sustainable approach
  • Missimer, M. (2013). The Social Dimension of Strategic Sustainable Development. (PhD, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlskrona, Sweden).
    • This is a critical update to the social science on strong sustainability required to help create design principles.
    • An abstract of this paper is available here, and the full paper can be downloaded here
    • A webinar presentation of this work can be watched here.

Tools for Designing Business Models

There is a good summary of current on-line versions of available tools in this presentation by Christoph Plamper here:

Measurement of Strongly Sustainable Business

In addition there are a large number of works related to the measurement, benchmarking and reporting on sustainable business.