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Is sustainable feasible? Business models for provision of sustainable household services
Minna M Halme, Helsinki School of Economics, Finland
The proposed paper is based upon a project on sustainable household services funded by the European Commission (Oct. 2002 Sept. 2004). Six countries are involved: Austria, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. In these countries over 100 different household services that contribute to ecological, social or economic sustainable development have been empirically studied.

Despite the abundance of eco-efficient product-service innovations during the last ten years, only a few eco-efficient products and services have made their way to the market place. This is mainly because systematic attention of the market feasibility is lacking. This paper examines systematically the business models of 20 existing eco-efficient services and product-service combinations with a framework concentrating on the following questions: (1) What kinds of competitive advantage pertain to different types of eco-efficient service models; (2) Which benefits can customers derive from eco-efficient services (in comparison to more traditional ways and means of fulfilling their needs); (3) Which capabilities and other resources does their provider or the network of providers have, and; (4) How is the service financed (Note: also other than commercially provided services are studied).

The paper asks what we can learn from both successful and incomplete elements of the business models of such eco-efficient services and product-service combinations that are already in operation at the market. Thereby the study aims at generating knowledge for development of more economically sound eco-efficient service-based production and consumption in the future.

 
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