Assessing the Impact of Sustainable Business Models: Challenges, Key Issues and Future Research Opportunities

  • Romana RauterEmail author
  • Martina Zimek
  • Rupert J. Baumgartner
  • Josef-Peter Schöggl
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business In Association with Future Earth book series (PSSBAFE)


In this chapter, the authors discuss the challenges and key issues of assessing the impact of sustainable business models (SBMs). Such an assessment is needed to explore coherency of economic, social and environmental (sustainability) performance of SBMs and to provide decision-makers with accurate and relevant information. Building on literature in the field of business models and sustainability assessment methods, four normative propositions were developed to clarify prerequisites for the assessment of SBMs. In addition, the authors present and discuss examples of sustainability methods that can be applied in the context of SBM assessment, as they are widely known and partly or fully consider the concept of sustainable development. Finally, the authors conclude with some remarks as well as an outlook on future research.



The financial support by the VINNMER program from Vinnova Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems and by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs and the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romana Rauter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martina Zimek
    • 1
  • Rupert J. Baumgartner
    • 1
    • 3
  • Josef-Peter Schöggl
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability ResearchUniversity of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.The Centre for ECO2 Vehicle DesignKTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Christian Doppler Laboratory for Sustainable Product Management enabling a Circular EconomyUniversity of GrazGrazAustria

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