The MIT Sustainability Interview Series

Our interviews feature thought leaders from management, urban studies, energy science, civil engineering, design and more. Conversations are wildly varied, but their goal is to help leading managers answer two crucial questions: As sustainability becomes the defining business issue of our times, what decisions will I need to face? And what will I need to know when I face them?

Reading Time: 5 min 

Leading Sustainable Organizations

Corporate adoption of sustainable business practices is essential to a strong market environment and an enduring society. What does it mean to become a sustainable business and what steps must leaders take to integrate sustainability into their organization?
More in this series

Using Creative Tension to Reach Big Goals

Setting long-term sustainability goals gives managers and employees permission to think about what’s really possible, says Dave Stangis, VP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Campbell Soup. “It’s a much more effective way to drive system-wide, enterprise change.” [gate_icon reprint_id=”53219″]

The Power to Adapt: Building One of the World’s Largest Renewables Power Producers

In two decades, Norwegian-based Statkraft has grown into one of the world’s largest renewables power producers. An interview with the president and CEO.[gate_icon reprint_id=”53117″]

What Really Goes On When Boards Talk Sustainability

The head of Egon Zehnder’s sustainability practice says the smartest executives are now searching out people who will tell them how their businesses are really being received.[gate_icon post_id=”10779″]

Duke Energy’s Plan To Take Over Your Kitchen — and Take Down Your Energy Use

The energy supplier is out to partner with customers and help optimize their electric use, says the company’s chairman, president, and CEO.[gate_icon post_id=”10459″]

From “Trust Me” to “Show Me”: Moving Sustainability at Shell Oil From “Priority” to “Core Value”

The president of Shell Oil details why (and how) energy development projects are driven by sustainability and social performance issues.[gate_icon post_id=”8487″]

What’s Your Company’sSustainability Filter?

Using a “sustainability filter” helps make the concept real and encourages employees to find opportunities for efficiency says Roberta Bowman, senior v.p. and chief sustainability officer for Duke Energy.[gate_icon post_id=”3445″]

How Sustainability Fuels Design Innovation

New-product design guru and MIT Sloan professor Steven Eppinger explains how companies that want to rework products so they don’t poison the environment can approach the task incrementally.[gate_icon post_id=”3418″]

How SAP Made the Business Case for Sustainability

As SAP’s first chief sustainability officer, Graf knew he’d be making a business case for sustainability to SAP customers. First, though, he had to make the case to the company’s own board of directors. [gate_icon post_id=”3426″]

Why Size Matters

The director of the MIT Energy Initiative explains that small company energy innovators need big company partners to scale up their ventures. But blending the two cultures is a big challenge, and one that leaders must learn to meet.[gate_icon post_id=”5082″]

The Four-Point Supply Chain Checklist: How Sustainability Creates Opportunity

The research director of MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics explains why supply chain managers are in a unique spot to consider new initiatives.[gate_icon post_id=”3393″]

The Sustainability Tradeoffs

The director of MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment considers the decisions companies have to make if they want to be sustainable — and challenges some of the conventional wisdom.[gate_icon post_id=”5081″]

Flourishing Forever

The author of Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture says the current craze for going green is all wrong. What’s needed, he says, is a much longer view.[gate_icon post_id=”5080″]

Sustainability: Not What You Think It Is

MIT Sloan’s Senge, founder of the Society for Organizational Learning, explains how companies can stop adopting measures that do “less bad” and start doing ones that are “more good.”[gate_icon post_id=”5079″]

Sustainability: Economy, then Environment

The director of MIT’s Engineering Systems Division and Center for Transportation and Logistics explores how the economic crisis pushes back matters of environmental sustainability — and how it doesn’t.[gate_icon post_id=”5078″]

All Together Now (or, Can Collective Intelligence Save the Planet?)

The MIT Sloan professor and author of The Future of Work addresses the mental models that impede management progress and the role of collective intelligence in solving climate problems.[gate_icon post_id=”5077″]

An Urban Planner’s Dream

MIT urban studies prof Judy Layzer is an expert on how sustainability pressures will drive change in the built environment of the city — and believes those pressures might make some “healthy changes and opportunities” more possible than ever.[gate_icon post_id=”5075″]

Hundreds of Gallons of Water in Every Shirt

A founder of MIT Sloan’s Sustainability Lab talks about how businesses and governments have to surmount both social and economic issues if they are serious about sustainability.[gate_icon post_id=”5074″]

A Sober Optimist’s Guide to Sustainability

The head of MIT Sloan’s System Dynamics Group explains ways to get people to think for real on sustainability and how to live as if there’s “just enough time left to save the world.”[gate_icon post_id=”5072″]

Making Sustainability the Real Thing

Jeff Seabright, vice president of environment and water resources for The Coca-Cola Company, talks about how sustainability issues — especially water issues — have evolved at the beverage giant.[gate_icon post_id=”5071″]

Sustainability as Fabric — and Why Smart Managers Will Capitalize First

A founder of MIT Sloan’s Laboratory for Sustainable Business says the best way to get people to take sustainability seriously is to frame it as a source of competitive advantage for first movers.[gate_icon post_id=”5070″]

The Loop You Can’t Get Out Of

A few words from the father of system dynamics on organizational decision making, human frailty and the reasons that managers trying to solve problems so often just make them worse[gate_icon post_id=”3293″]

Leading Sustainable Organizations

Corporate adoption of sustainable business practices is essential to a strong market environment and an enduring society. What does it mean to become a sustainable business and what steps must leaders take to integrate sustainability into their organization?
More in this series

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