Sustainable Platform Economy: Connections with the Sustainable Development Goals


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ISSN: 2071-1050

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Type of work: Article (academic)


Development | Economics


platform economy, SDG


The platform economy is growing exponentially while creating expectations for its potential to contribute to a sustainable development. However, research aimed at showing the potential contribution of each platform’s business model to sustainable development is needed. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are driving the policy agenda, but it remains unclear how far they encourage a sustainable platform economy. First, this article aims to study how each different type of platform contributes to sustainable development. Second, it analyses if and how the factors that contribute to the sustainable design of platforms are considered in SDGs. The paper departs from a framework of sustainable democratic qualities of the platform economy that considers governance, economic sustainability, technological and data policies, social responsibility, and external impact dimensions. The study is based on an empirical analysis of 60 platforms. The results show that a sustainable design of a platform economy promotes sustainable development. Furthermore, the contributions of the sustainable dimensions of a platform to SDGs are mainly connected to the impact and responsibility and the economic model, but governance and data dimensions are not present in the SDGs. This suggests that SDGs should improve their digital perspective to intertwine better with the sustainable platforms.