Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • English

Resource Description

Additional attachments

CASE Sustainable Business Model Canvas(Resource ID: 577)

The Sustainable Business Model Canvas supports the development of an idea into a viable business model. It follows a holistic approach regarding the relationships within and outside the business. Besides economic criteria it focusses on ecological and social consequences of the activity. It aims at maximizing positive and avoiding negative impact on society and nature. Therefore, sustainability is integrated into the core business. The visualization on the canvas fosters coherence of the concept and clarification among the team members. It further supports communication with third parties and prepares for a solid business plan.

Step 1 – Get familiar with the 11 elements

There is no strict rule for the starting point. Usually, eihter the Value Proposition or the Customer Segments will provide an answer to the questions:

  • Which problem do we want to solve?
  • Whose problem do we want to solve?

The elements may be grouped as follows:

  • Value Proposition – Customer Relationships – Channels – Customer Segments
  • Key Partners – Key Activities – Key Resources
  • Cost Structure – Revenue Streams
  • Eco-Social Costs – Eco-Social Benefits


Step 2 – Work in the team

Visualizing the idea shared by the team members on the canvas clarifies the individual expectations. It helps removing discrepancies and finding a common understanding.

In a second – often parallel – process, the idea is further developed into a business.


Step 3 – Presentation and feedback

Once the canvas has reached a first version, it is presented in front of the class, to another team or a coach/teacher. The feedback and considerations from outside shall be taken into account in the subsequent iteration.

This step can be repeated several times. It might also be the motivation for a first prototyping.


Step 4 – Translate the business model into a business plan

The result of the canvas is a solid, coherent business model. For realization of the idea more specific data are needed. The model is translated into operational objectives – including milestones and more detailed plans for finance and communications.

Both, business plan and canvas, remain modifiable supports for the impementation of the business idea. They serve as controlling instruments and basis for strategic decisions.



Learning Outcomes
Visualization, coherence of a concept, clarification among team members, communication with third parties
Relevance for Sustainability
The aim of the tool is the development of an idea into a viable business model with strong focus on a holistic approach and the ecological and social consequences of the activity.

It can be used for
- Sustainability Screening
- Entrepreneurial Projects

- Visualization of complex relationships
- Focus on key aspects of business
- Integration of eco-social impact
- Popular method
- Compare alternative models
- For new and existing businesses
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Sustainability criteria
  • Holistic thinking
  • Application oriented
  • Related to acquiring skills
  • Strengthens strategic competence
  • Problem-solving oriented
Preparation Efforts
Funded by

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute
an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsiĀ­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Ambros Michael, Schmitz Dominik


Michael Ambros
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Centre for Global Change and Sustainable Development


Creative Commons

Pillars of Sustainability

  • social
  • environment
  • economic

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Written material
  • Discussion / debate
  • Reflection