Sustainable value propositions: Framework and implications for technology suppliers

Samuli Patala*, Anne Jalkala, Joona Keränen, Sanni Väisänen, Valtteri Tuominen, Risto Soukka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in sustainable purchasing put pressure on firms to evaluate and demonstrate the sustainability of their products and services. In this paper, we coin the term sustainable value proposition, develop a process framework for building sustainable value propositions, and illustrate its application with two technology-intensive offerings. By integrating the literature on sustainable marketing and customer value propositions with life cycle assessment methodologies, we build a process framework that can be applied to demonstrate and evaluate the economic, environmental and social benefits of industrial products and services. The framework comprises 1) identification of potential impacts, 2) identification of key value creation mechanisms, 3) choosing key indicators, 4) life cycle modeling, and 5) life cycle value demonstration. Through two case studies, we examine the development of sustainable value propositions in two industry sectors: metallurgical and automotive. The results highlight the value provided to customers through the combination of direct economic benefits and derivative benefits of reduced environmental and social impacts. Our paper contributes to the growing field of sustainable marketing by offering guidelines on how to integrate sustainability with the marketing and purchasing of technology-intensive offerings. In addition, we offer guidelines for how to construct sustainable value propositions that resonate with customers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-156
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Customer value proposition
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Life cycle profit assessment
  • Sustainability

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