December 18, 2013 - In August, I met my thirty new classmates who were eager to begin classes in pursuit of our MBA in sustainability. Reflecting back on the semester, it is evident to me how much I have learned throughout the semester. As this semester comes to a close today, I feel as if there is no more […] More »
After a decade at the margins (investor relations and public affairs), sustainability has gone mainstream, capturing the attention of Wall Street and corporate boardrooms.
From cover stories in major business publications to the rise of Chief Sustainability Officers, eyes have turned to this question: How best to achieve long-term growth that preserves people, our planet and profits?
WHAT'S DRIVING SUSTAINABILITY?
While definitions of sustainable business practice range widely, sustainability as a business value driver increasingly has more converts and fewer skeptics. Today's senior managers consider sustainability to be a business imperative, not simply a public good.
EXPERTS AGREE ON A FEW BROAD FORCES SHAPING THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS.
Globalization continues to accelerate. Today, global trade accounts for some 20% of the world GDP. Markets will continue to open, led by the rapid evolution of technology and global connectivity. That means clout for developing countries, and more surge in the number and reach of multinational businesses.
Urbanization brings changing patterns of industrialization and economic growth, with major sustainability consequences. China, India, Brazil, and Russia, collectively, already account for 30% of global CO2 emissions.
Social and economic disparities
Social and economic disparities between rich and poor, undermine long-term sustainability of communities, corporate investment and reliable supply of human/natural resources.
Strained resource supply
Strained resource supply, for everything from natural gas and oil to water, will be reflected in rising costs and will become a rising factor in how businesses operate and where they locate.
- Business for Social Responsibility
- International Institute for Sustainable Development
- Green America
- Center for Environmental Leadership in Business
- Caux Round Table
- Ceres Investor Network
- World Resources Institute
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Development Crossing
- Aspen Institute
Center for Environmental Leadership in Business
Sponsored by Conservation International, the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business is a think tank that provides a collaborative forum between environmental groups and industries. Develops business practices to protect biodiversity, water, and adverse climate changes.
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Virginia Gerde, PhD
Business Ethics, Organizational Ethics, Information Ethics
Virginia Gerde teaches and conducts research on ethics, environmental issues, corporate performance and organization theory.
- Ready to Make a Difference?
- Join a select group of MBA graduates ready to lead a sustainable future.
Accepting applications for Fall 2014.
Learn more about applying
or contact us.
- Global Study Trips
- Spring 2013 – Germany & Luxembourg
Summer 2013 – India
Learn more about our international experiences »