Sustainable Business Models

A rapidly growing field of research in which researchers at LiU are at the forefront. The focus is on life cycle-based offerings and business models in which design and innovation are important components. The research is interdisciplinary and is conducted in close collaboration with small and large companies. 

Environmental issues can be viewed as problems that need to be solved, but also as opportunities to create resource-efficient solutions. The latter approach requires life cycle-based business models and customer offerings across a broad front and involves the development of combined product and service offerings. 

These ideas, which have long had a stronghold in Region Östergötland, where there is a growing cleantech industry, are spreading rapidly. LiU's researchers within engineering, as well in economics and the social sciences, were among the first to study this area and are contributing to its development. 

Even functional sales, in which companies sell a function rather than a product, e.g. a certain amount of transport instead of a new truck, or a refrigeration capacity instead of a freezer, are studied. A common factor here is the environmental and market potential that exists in a more life cycle-based and resource-efficient approach.

LiU also coordinates the research programme MistraREES to facilitate the transition to a more resource-efficient and circular economy, in a close collaboration between the academic and business worlds. 


Collage with images of the sun, soil. tomatoes, algae, water and plastic bottles

Resource productivity and sustainable business growth

Globally, natural and economic systems face growing challenges, all linked to ever increasing primary, and mostly fossil, resource use and pollutant emissions.

AI generated picture of a city in aquarelle style

Centre for Business Model Innovation

The centre for business model innovation (CBMI) takes a starting point in the role of businesses in society, and the way in which business models are changed and renewed over time in order to adapt to societal and business changes.

A picture of metal laser.

Sustainable supply chains in Swedish industry

The project studies models and approaches that large companies are currently working with to promote an upstream sustainable supply chain, identify success factors and develop a new unique model for supplier sustainability assurance.


Professor Mattias Lindahl is contributing to a global ISO standard

There are hundreds of definitions of circular economy in the world, which leads to confusion. A new ISO standard with a definition widely accepted and disseminated will remedy the situation.

Two female student, dissasembling an Ikea product.

Students disassemble Ikea products

This is part of a research project in which LiU students get to collaborate with the Swedish furniture giant. The students document possibility of repairing, replacing and reusing.

9.5 million for research on service innovations

LiU have received 9.5 million SEK from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. The research grant will be used to examine how companies can utilise digital technology and data to create new and useful services