Earlier this week, I attended a lunch lecture called “Ecopreneurship”, hosted by Drivhuset together with Klimatlätt and Uppsala University. This was the first lecture in a series of three, where the following events will be workshops focusing on creating sustainable solutions and then develop a sustainable business case from the solution created in the previous event.
This first inspirational lecture was about what an ecopreneur is and why it is important. As the name indicates, an ecopreneur is an entrepreneur with a focus on sustainability. Hopefully there will be no difference between an entrepreneur and an ecopreneur in the future, as sustainability becomes integrated in all kinds of entrepreneurship. But for now, we have to think about what choices we make and how to integrate sustainability when developing new ideas and innovations.
As a part of the current course “Value creation value: motivation, opportunity and risk”, we have learned about the Business Model Canvas, as a tool to analyze and design business models. During this lecture they introduced a modified version, called The Triple Layered Business Model Canvas. This version also includes the environmental and social parts, in addition to the original economic part, as a tool to design and develop more sustainable business models. The three layers of the business model illustrates how an organization can generate multiple types of value.
From a business perspective, it becomes more important to include sustainability, as the awareness in the society increases. It can even be a competitive advantage on the market. The reason why a company choose to work with sustainability may vary, but the question is if that really matters? Some companies might do it exclusively because of money and others because they have a genuine interest in sustainability and wants to make a difference. To be honest, I don´t think that the reason why is what we should be focusing on at this stage, but rather what the result will be. In an early stage of a changeover like this, it might be difficult to get everyone onboard. Therefore, all steps in the right direction are welcome, as long as they are done in a transparent and lasting way.