Environmental sustainability in industrial manufacturing: Re-examining the greening of Interface's business model

Risto Rajala*, Mika Westerlund, Tommi Lampikoski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
244 Downloads (Pure)


In the face of mounting public environmental and societal concerns, firms are incorporating sustainability into their business models. However, previous research has paid little attention to how companies can renew their business model to take better account of environmental sustainability at the organizational level in their business ecosystems. This study fills this gap in the literature through a longitudinal case study of the greening of the business model of the US-based carpet manufacturer Interface. The findings delineate the change in the company's business model, stressing the role of managerial agency in organizational identity formation and in making a favorable change in the ecosystem. Hence, the study examines the links between managerial agency, organizational identity, and business ecosystems with regards to business model greening, and it discusses how shifts in managerial thinking have enabled the company to build the capabilities needed for the change. The article concludes by linking the findings to the body of knowledge on strategic change and providing a new conceptualization of a company's business model greening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Issue number1 March
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Business ecosystem
  • Business model
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Interface
  • Organizational identity


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