BookPatterns to help design businesses that create sustainable value

Prof. Florian Lüdeke-Freund and his co-authors’ book offers a comprehensive overview of 45 patterns for the design of next generation business models for sustainability.

“This is a book for sustainability and not about sustainability. At its core, it is about designing next generation business models for sustainability; that is, business models designed to maintain and create value in ecological, social, and economic terms,” explain the authors of Sustainable Business Model Design – 45 Patterns: Florian Lüdeke-Freund, Henning Breuer and Lorenzo Massa. These 45 patterns can help managers and entrepreneurs develop new businesses that create sustainable value.

Sustainable Business Model Design builds on the authors’ decade-long research on business models, corporate sustainability, and innovation management. The business model pattern taxonomy presented in the book is an updated and further developed version of the classification system they had previously introduced in a journal article co-written with Sarah Carroux and Alexandre Joyce.

The culmination of years of research

“We have identified, validated, and systematized 45 patterns for sustainable business model (SBM) innovation addressing 45 recurrent challenges that prevent business from creating more ecological, social, and economic value,” they add. A group of outstanding experts in sustainable business model research and practice helped to organize these challenges and the corresponding SBM patterns into eleven groups including ‘ecodesign patterns,’ ‘giving patterns’ and ‘financing patterns,’ each emphasizing the relative strengths of different business model designs.

Patterns provide a quite powerful shortcut to learning the essence of decades of experience.

“Patterns for sustainable business model innovation are templates for designing new business models, or for changing existing ones, with the deliberate aim of creating sustainable value through business means. This is a mid- to long-term undertaking, and admittedly not an easy one. But patterns provide a quite powerful shortcut to learning the essence of decades of experience – experiences often made by those who pioneered new ways of doing business, such as Interface Inc. or Aravind Eye Care System.”

The authors also note that it is important to see the identification and implementation of business model patterns as an ongoing and open-ended process. “New patterns and new pattern groups will emerge in practice after this book has been published,” they anticipate. “And we hope that we will be able to document these developments in future publications and SBM innovation tools. We are also eager for our readers to share or propose new patterns.”


Florian Lüdecke-Freund - ESCP Business School  - Berlin Campus Florian Lüdecke-Freund Professor at ESCP Business School
Henning Breuer Henning Breuer Professor at HMKW Berlin
Lorenzo Massa Lorenzo Massa Professor at Aalborg University Business School