Innovation usually means doing things in a different way or bringing about a change in the way we do things. Most people associate innovation with new technologies; others argue that innovation could also mean the way we bring new things to market. With the latest advancements in technology, there have also been improvements and innovations in the way businesses make money – business model innovation.

Business model and sustainability


Business model refers to a company’s policies towards their business operations, and the way they make money. A business model involves establishing target customer, reaching the target customers, cost structure, and profit margins. Sustainability is not only a ‘buzz word’ among businesses but it has become mainstream practice to integrate sustainability into business models.

The five Cs of business models

In a blog posted on Sustainability, the five Cs of business models has been explained. The five Cs of innovative business models are as follows:

  • Customers
  • Consumers
  • Culture
  • Capabilities
  • Collaboration

Customers and consumers

Business cannot operate without customers or consumers. Needs of the customer stays at the top of the list of any business, and customers should not be asked to sacrifice. Many companies feel that visualization is the key when it comes to securing customers. Some companies are promoting affordable leasing of valuable products. Recycling and the application of innovative mining technology to salvage valuable metals, minerals, and plastics from landfills is also a priority among companies.

Capabilities & Culture

Capabilities and Culture do not secure customers but they set them free. Enabling innovation requires both skills and mindset throughout the organization. Some company culture may serve as an obstacle to innovation, and therefore, these companies should rethink and evaluate their capabilities or culture to unlock innovation.


132093750_bd2babbd60_oCollaborating with new businesses to support growth and sustainability is essential. New businesses often find it difficult to collaborate with competitors in a global marketplace. Companies can benefit from inter-complementary activities by integrating with other companies. The automobile companies in Japan or the Industrial park in East London are examples of sustainable integration of companies, where they benefit from sharing each others’ knowledge, resources, energy, services and by-products. For example, a plastic recycling company needing water can benefit from working with a neighboring anaerobic digestion center that produces water.

The scope for collaboration globally has increased and there are more prospects and opportunities for collaboration today than ever before. Global IT, apparel, and logistic companies could integrate and develop a closed-loop, common approach to investment, which is currently carried out by individual companies.


Collaborating would benefit new companies the most because it could draw upon experiences of other bigger companies. They could also apply the lessons learned elsewhere when collaborating with others.

The first step in developing a business model innovation and sustainability is model behavior. We will be exploring possible areas of sustainability and business models in our future posts.

We would appreciate your comments.

Source: Balanced Life Team

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