How to Tell If Your Business Model Is Truly Sustainable

How can companies assess which business model changes will enable the company to become genuinely more resilient and sustainable over time? We believe our insights from researching Sustainable Business Model Innovation (SBM-I) can help answer that question. Crossing all industries and geographies, our research analyzed more than 100 business models through which companies delivered both business value and environmental and societal benefits. We tested each business model against nine attributes to gauge its robustness and resilience, attributes identified through BCG’s experience in helping companies create strategies and business models that yield sustainable business advantage.

Below we discuss how various attributes fundamentally underpin business advantage and illustrate how they add to business resilience and sustainability, using examples of interesting companies that are pursuing sustainable business model innovations.

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