Accelerating Sustainability through Business Models & Digital Solutions Exploring how to impact a sustainable transition within the Swedish food system

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Management and economics of innovation (MPMEI), MSc
Antonsson Torin, Ellen
Wallinder, Ella
The critical importance of sustainability has recently been highly discussed within society and by actors such as the UN. In addition to the current climate crisis, recent years have been further characterized by several external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic, global conflicts, and associated supply chain implications. These external shocks have impacted the economic environment, and hence the ongoing inflation. Furthermore, the food industry is the third largest industry in Sweden, and therefore the industry is central to achieve a sustainable Swedish society. However, due to critical external shocks, the industry is currently in an urgent state. Hence, it is highly important to explore how a sustainable transition within the industry can be accelerated. Moreover, key industrial trends are digitalization and increased focus on plant-based products. To accelerate the transition, the research study aims to explore the potential impact of traceability and sustainable business models. The research study followed an abductive approach by iteratively combining previous research and the empirical environment. The research design was developed based on the Double Diamond principle, hence the research study was divided into two subsequential phases; research study 1 and research study 2. The data collection consisted of qualitative interviews and collection of secondary data. The findings were analyzed through a thematic analysis and from the perspective of previous research, as well as further discussed. Five key factors were identified as critical for actors to consider achieving a sustainable industry. The concept of a Dynamic Market Fit was further developed to highlight the importance of simultaneously adopting to and influencing customer demand. Moreover, the research study concludes that there is an identified unlocked potential for sustainable business models, that could positively support the transition. Similarly, a great potential with traceability was further identified, as well as the associated potential positive impact on sustainable business models. Despite the great potential with traceability, the technology is considerably in an emerging phase, characterized by several explorative actors. Finally, the research study concludes that individual and collaborative actions are required from all actors within the industry to accelerate a sustainable transition.
sustainable transition , food industry , sustainable business models , sustainable strategies , digital solutions
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