Unformatted text preview: New Business Model Portfolio
CSU2 Group 4:
Pauline Hambach (364913)
Sophie Schlimmer (351652)
Course Code: IBVB14CSU2
Date of Submission: January 18th 2019
Teacher: Javed Suleri Executive Summary
In contrast to social and environmental corporate responsibility, greenwashing is the
deliberate consumer fraud. Greenwashing became a profitable business model. However, it
does not only manipulate and deceive consumers it also negatively impacts the demand for
ecologically or socially sound products as well as the image of companies that act truly
responsible (Weis, 2013). It is important for consumers to know if a company’s claims are
valid and trustworthy. Therefore, we decided to conduct research on a specific company with
a New Business Model.
Firstly, secondary data has been used in order to gain an insight about New Business Models
by using mostly the Google search engine. Companies have been searched that would
provide relevant information for the portfolio. By conducting an interview and a visit at the
company ‘Sodasan’ we made sure to gain an own insight into the company’s business model.
Also, this assured that the collected data and information are reliable. The interview was
held in Oldenburg in Germany and took approximately thirty minutes within we were able to
collect information about the company’s New Business Model’s design, principles, value
proposition and community.
Sodasan is a company that represents the theory of the course ‘Corporate Sustainability’.
Additionally, the Triple Bottom Line framework with its three parts people, planet and profit
is presented by the organization by offering environmentally-friendly cleaning agents and
detergents for a growing number of critical customers who want to act responsibly (Hall &
Slaper, 2018). Moreover, Sodasan offers products and sources supplies from Third World
countries that provide ingredients from Fair Trade projects (Sodasan, 2018). This portfolio
determines to what extend Sodasan is working with a New Business Model and if it can be
seen as a role model for other companies. Table of Contents
Introduction 4 New Business Model Screening 6 Methodology 8 Case Description: Sodasan 9 (1) Introduction 9 (2) Principles 9 (3) Design 10 (4) Value Proposition 10 (5) Community 11 (6) Results 11 (7) Conclusion 12 Conclusion and Reflection 13 References 14 Appendices 15 Appendix A: CSU Questionnaire Interview 15 Appendix B: Poster Presentation 19 Introduction 22 Internet NBM search 22 NBM Screening (Checklist New Business Models) 23 Methodology 24 Case Description: Sodasan 24 (1) Introduction 24 (2) Principles 25 (3) Design 25 (4) Value Proposition 25 (5) Community 26 (6) Results 26 (7) Conclusion 26 Conclusion and Reflection 27 References 27 Appendices 28 Appendix A: CSU Questionnaire Interview 28 Appendix B: Poster Presentation 33 Introduction
This portfolio defines New Business Models and its function in a company. It will describe
and explain the New Business Model of the company ‘Sodasan’. A company description and
an analysis of Sodasan’s New Business Model, based on a case description will be provided.
The case description includes an introduction, the principles, design, value proposition,
community, results and conclusion of the New Business Model. We will describe our
approach for the internet search and screening, following our methodology as well as results
and our conclusion. Sodasan offers products for washing and cleaning. It is an important
impulse-giving leader for green detergents. As a sustainability pioneer, Sodasan exemplifies
responsible business practices and an innovative product development. The products are
easy to use, effective, productive in cleaning performance and save resources as well as
water. We have chosen to analyze this company since we consider the company to be a role
for a company implementing a new business model. Furthermore, we are personally
interested in the topic of sustainability as we are aiming to contribute to a better and greener
place just like Sodasan and that is how we came up with our research question: To what
extent is Sodasan working with a New Business Model and can it be seen as a role model for
other companies? 1 Internet New Business Model Search
We started the assignment by finding an organization which is implementing a New Business
Model. Moreover, we aimed to conduct an interview with a selected company as we put
much emphasis on data that would be directly given to through primary research. When
starting our research, we decided to use the Google search engine as our main source. Also,
we made use of Bing and Wiki.com by searching for different companies that implemented a
New Business Model. However, Google provided a greater variety of results. Keywords, such
as ‘Companies with New Business Models‘ helped us to gain an insight and understanding of
our topic. Multiple organizations appeared under the category ‘New Business Model’.
However, we did not find the right fit compliant with our expectations. Based on our criteria,
we found some companies that combined sustainable oriented as well as community based
backgrounds, yet it was difficult to find a business that would be willing to participate in an
interview. After further research, we contacted companies based in Groningen, Oldenburg
and several other cities in the North of the Netherlands and Germany in order to enable us
to visit a suitable company and to gain information about its New Business Model. Sodasan
in Oldenburg was the company that most effectively and efficiently focused on sustainability,
climate as well as social change and economic power. In addition, the E-Commerce manager
of Sodasan agreed to an interview with us so we decided to choose Sodasan as a company
for this portfolio. After exchanging information, we created a questionnaire based on our
topic which helped us to conduct the interview and of which we could collect relevant
information, in order to write our report. 2 New Business Model Screening
Sodasan offers environmentally-friendly cleaning agents and detergents for a growing
number of critical customers who want to act responsibly in their own household. The
products were developed over the years and Sodasan optimized them in their own
laboratory. Sodasan’s business proposition compiles a mix of profit, people and planet. The
individual value is divided by the value created for the consumer, the environment and the
value for Sodasan itself. Sodasan wins its customers by offering conscious consumers an
essential alternative for washing and cleaning.
The customers value includes great and valuable products for a reasonable price. The value
that is created for Sodasan combines on the one hand the sustainable background and a
minimized ecological footprint and on the other hand an income that can be earned during
pleasant working hours under friendly working conditions. Additionally, the value created for
the community involves an increased exchange between Sodasan and its customers due to
the company’s supportive customer service.
Finally, the value created for the planet includes organic products and ingredients that highly
contribute to a generation- and environmentally friendly future. The company uses only
vegetable oils from organic cultivation as the base for its soap products, supports socially
responsible agriculture in the Third World countries by buying vegetable oils from Fair Trade
projects and prevents to perform any animal testings. Additionally, Sodasan’s products save
lots of resources as well as water which help to act responsibly. Sodasan and the consumers
add value by acting responsibly and sustainably, and the government creates value by
enabling a Fair Trade partnership between Sodasan and Third World countries.
The results are shared between the cooperating parties, since each member benefits from
the business and its products. The government benefits from an improved environment by
allowing Sodasan to sell its organic products and to make a fair business. Moreover, the
partnership between Sodasan and the Third World countries represent Germany as a social
country. Additionally, the business grows annually which leads to higher employment and
therefore, supports the decrease of the German unemployment rate. The consumers can
purchase sustainable products which allow them to act sustainable at low cost. Sodasan
profits from its customers who support its business idea and stay loyal.
3 We can trace how the results are achieved as we had personal contact with the e-commerce
manager of Sodasan. We conducted an interview with her in which she talked about
Sodasan’s approach. Additionally, we visited the company in Oldenburg, where we have
learned about their concepts and business model. Finally, the New Business Model that
Sodasan is using is scalable because the world is increasingly demanding products using
organic and healthy ingredients as well as international partnerships. Sodasan proves the
social aspect in Germany by cooperating with Third World countries by adopting Fair Trade
projects which is the main part of its Business Model. Sodasan also tries to broaden its
Business Model so it can be applicable to other companies so that Germany and even other
countries think and act more sustainably. 4 Methodology
First, different New Business Models were screened to obtain an overview. Following, we
used search engines, such as Google and Bing in order to find a suitable company based on
our topic. We searched for a company that is working with a New Business Model and
started to contact organizations in the North of Germany and the Netherlands, such as the
chosen company ‘Sodasan‘. Following, primary research has been collected to analyze the
New Business Model of Sodasan by conducting an interview with a manager of the company.
Nearly, all data gathered in the beginning has been double checked in the end, in order to
validate the information and make adjustments if necessary. Furthermore, secondary
research has been conducted to verify Sodasan’s new business model. Before writing the
assignment, a questionnaire was designed with relevant questions about the company, the
manager and the New Business Model, in terms of its principles, design, value proposition,
and community. In addition, conclusion questions were created, in order to gain general
information about the company for last refinements of our assignment. The New Business
Model interview protocol provided a proper direction for creating the right questions, which
enabled us to collect enough information. Based on all results, we analyzed the New
The interview was held with Kirsten Sander who works at Sodasan as an e-commerce
manager since November 2015. Before the interview, we informed her about the duration of
the interview and explained interview details, such as recording, handling of information,
and publication. It has taken 25 minutes in practice, which was enough to address all
questions. Concluding, the interview went well in terms of the information we were able to
obtain through previous organization as well as our pre-designed questionnaire. However,
we had some time issues during the interview. Since Mrs. Sander is very busy, we had less
time for conducting the interview as expected. 5 Case Description: Sodasan
Sodasan’s story began more than 25 years ago when Kerstin Stromberg and Jürgen Hack
decided to come up with an alternative to traditional cleaning products. The company is an
important impulse-giving leader for green detergents and cleaners. As a sustainability
pioneer, Sodasan exemplifies responsible business practices and an innovative product
From the beginning, the company had vision to develop cleaning agents made from natural
raw materials that do not pollute the environment either during their manufacture or after
their use. Sodasan offers alternative products for a growing number of critical consumers
who want to act responsibly in their own households. Sodasan products preserve resources
and waters. In addition, they are easy to use, and their cleaning performance is excellent.
Sodasan’s guiding principles are active nature conservancy, efficient use of resources and the
use of plant-based raw materials preferably from organic sources. If available, they source
raw materials from organic projects based in developing countries. Sodasan acts responsibly.
This applies to their processes as well as the manufacturing of the products. Transparency
during the production and composition of the individual products through a complete
declaration are part of the company philosophy. They continuously work on minimizing their
environmental impact. The compliance with environmental regulations and ordinances is a
must in Sodasan’s practices. Furthermore, the company considers it their duty to protect the
environment and to prevent any action that could cause harm.
Sodasan’s operations are verifiably carbon neutral due to their financially support for reforestation. The company does not use any electricity generated by nuclear power since all
energy supplied to the company is sourced from renewable energy sources. Sodasan believes
any ingredient in an organic product must be purposeful and come from a renewable or
plentiful source found in nature. This includes ingredients from flora, fauna and plants, and
minerals-otherwise known as animal, vegetable or mineral. 6 Additionally, Sodasan believes that they have an obligation to continually reassess their
environmental and energy strategies with an eye to improving our environmental
performance. This is an important part of their environmental management system.
According to Sodasan there are certain synthetic ingredients that should never be used in
any personal care products. This includes ingredients like parabens, glycol, sodium sulfate
and petrolatum since there is enough evidence questioning their safety that natural
alternatives should be used instead. Overall, they believe synthetic ingredients in personal
care products should be avoided wherever possible.
Sodasan has implemented their people, planet and profit oriented value proposition from
the very start with its founding. It is a promise on the environmental, social and economic
benefits the company delivers to their customers as well as the society at large. They are
focusing on long-term sustainability as well as their own profits. The company offers
environmentally-friendly detergents and cleaning agents for a growing number of critical
consumers who want to act responsibly in their own household. Their effective and
sustainable products are continuously optimized.
(4) Value Proposition
Sodasan operates in the detergent and chemical industry. However, due to the sustainable
background the products differ from other products in this industry. Its value proposition is a
promise on social, economic and environmental benefits, which is delivered to its customers
and the society at large. While their employees focus on long-term sustainability, they still
aim for short-term profits, in order to be able to run the business.
The company’s customers benefit from the organic ingredients, which are profoundly
effective, inspiring to their senses, better for the environment and most beneficial to their
overall well-being. The natural ingredients nurture customer’s skin and hair with wholesome
nutrients that the body chemistry is familiar with. 7 (5) Community
The company ensures that every person working for or with the company has the same goal:
They want to contribute to a greener world. Everyone is motivated and enthusiastic to work
at a company with this background. Also, they make sure to have a good team climate, which
is supporting a great dynamic in the organization.
Next to employees and partners of Sodasan, they see their customers as an important part of
their community. Their interest in sustainable products and their demand allow Sodasan to
create their products and realize its value proposition.
Finally, Sodasan’s various partners around the world are part of the community. The
community’s cohesion is strengthened by working together towards achieving the same goal.
For more than over 25 years, Sodasan continuously enlarges its expertise, knowledge and
products. Sodasan creates various values for people, the planet and their own profit.
Ecological values are created through their environmental and energy strategies and various
actions taken to protect the environment, such as their use of organic resources, renewable
energy sources and their carbon neutral processes.
Social values are created since Sodasan’s customers benefit from high quality products for a
fair price considering its numerous positive characteristics. Also, with the purchase of the
company’s products, customers avail themselves of an opportunity of contributing to a
greener world and the good feeling that is accompanied with it.
Even though Sodasan strongly focuses on its new business model with its various social and
ecological benefits, they still consider short-term profits, in order to be able to run the
business. Sodasan’s competitive advantage to other companies in the same industry is
obviously their business model. The business value creating the variety of benefits
mentioned above, makes Sodasan a more attractive alternative compared to its competitors.
To conclude, Sodasan clearly has a new business model since it creates values for people and
the planet while still earning profit as mentioned in the previous sections. The company
8 behaves ethically and contributes to economic development while improving the quality of
life of the workforce and their families as well as the local community and society at large.
The case of Sodasan demonstrates, as a role model for other companies, that it is possible
for companies in every sector to have a successful new business model. This is reflected in
various prices and certifications Sodasan has received in the past, such as the German
Sustainability Award and the CSE Certificate for quality-focused management.
Sodasan Contact Details:
Sodasan Wasch- und Reinigungsmittel GmbH
Tel.: 04956 / 40720
Fax: 04956 407299
Email: [email protected]
Case Authors: Pauline Hambach and Sophie Schlimmer Conclusion and Reflection
To conclude, we will evaluate our research question: To what extent is Sodasan working with
its New Business Model and can it be seen as a role model for other companies? Sodasan
successfully integrates the triple bottom line in terms of people, planet and profit in their
business model. When taking into account the insight into the company’s operations as well
9 as the case description we can conclude that Sodasan has implemented a new business
model and does not conduct any form of greenwashing. Therefore, we do think that Sodasan
can be seen as a role model and inspiration for other companies that plan to act more
ethically and responsibly.
We have learned from search and selection that it was difficult to find a company through
the Google search engine that would be willing to conduct an interview with us. Instead of
analyzing a business with information solely from the internet, we contacted Sodasan who
agreed to provide us with relevant information. By conducting the interview we have not
only learned about the company and its business model but have also gained hand-on
experience and skills of conducting a professional interview compliant with the instructions
given by Mr. Suleri. When writing the portfolio, we learned how to use the gathered
information by analyzing it and draw our own conclusions. References
Sodasan. (2018). Sodasan, 36 Jahre, eine saubere Sache. Über uns.
Mambali., J. (2018). Harvard Business Review. What is a Business Model?.
Slaper, T., Hall, T. (2018)...
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