CSB – Center for Sustainable Business
The Center for Sustainable Business (CSB), founded by ESMT in 2015, is a platform for research, teaching, and thought leadership on implementing sustainability in business. Companies participating in the Sustainable Business Roundtable (SBRT) – started at ESMT in 2011 by Professor CB Bhattacharya – had voiced the need for a broader platform that conducts research into several unanswered sustainability questions and creates an educational arm that takes relevant concepts, tools, and best practices onsite to the hundreds of managers who need to be trained in sustainability thinking and practice.
We believe that the need to establish sustainable models of business has become paramount. The problem that has to be tackled, though, is how to work toward the point where all corporate decisions are made based on such a model. What we want to provide is a conceptually sound and empirically testable framework that provides guidelines for managers – a roadmap toward the goal we have in mind.
CSB’s objective is to draft these roadmaps and show how to embed sustainability throughout the value chain. For this purpose we are currently conducting a qualitative study of senior executives to find out how structures, strategy, and culture have to come together to embed sustainability in an organization. This will be followed by a quantitative study to test the model developed above.
It is our intent to disseminate the knowledge we garner by publishing articles in leading academic journals, case studies, and research reports.
We offer tailored executive courses for companies, units, and teams that are looking for an introduction to corporate responsibility and sustainable business and wish to familiarize themselves with the “triple bottom line” or need to conduct a sustainability analysis.
We provide guidelines for companies on how to formulate, implement, and evaluate effective sustainability strategies. With the help of the SBRT, we offer a forum where emissaries from leading companies meet twice a year and debate cutting-edge sustainability strategies. We show the way in which sustainability can become an integral part of various business functions. During our SBRT meetings, we have focused on topics such as the role of human resources in creating a sustainable culture in the organization and ways of integrating sustainability into: branding and marketing strategies; innovation, procurement, and supply chains; investor relations, business strategies, communication, and reporting; as well as into the organizational culture. Each meeting is a combination of input from ESMT faculty and best practice examples from our SBRT members.
We are currently partnering with high-level networks and hosting conferences and events.
DIRECTOR OF THE CSB:
CB Bhattacharya is the Pietro Ferrero Chair in Sustainability at ESMT. Before joining ESMT in 2009, he was the Everett W. Lord Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Marketing at the School of Management at Boston University. His expertise is in the area of business strategy innovation aimed at increasing both business and social value. CB Bhattacharya has published more than 100 articles in leading journals. He is co-author of Leveraging corporate responsibility: The stakeholder route to maximizing business and social value and co-editor of Global challenges in responsible business, both published by Cambridge University Press.