Sustainability

Sustainability remains a frequently discussed opportunity for business differentiation. Heralded as “the primary moral and economic imperative of the 21st century,” by Mervyn King, former governor of the Bank of England, it is considered to be “one of the most important sources of both opportunities and risks for businesses.”

MIT SMR and The Boston Consulting Group recently completed an eight-year collaboration on the topic of sustainability. Over the course of the program, the partnership produced cutting-edge research on business adoption of sustainable practices and the integration of sustainability into business strategy. We developed detailed analyses of the business cases for sustainability, sustainability-related profitability, and issues around collaboration and investment.

The intersection of sustainability and another powerful market influence, digitalization, however, represents largely unexplored territory. Each has spawned a massive set of research about how it will change management practice, and more broadly, business and society. MIT SMR intends to build on its research on corporate sustainability and digitalization, and is currently looking for a partner to join our research effort.

New in Sustainability

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The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Create Value for Stakeholders

Shareholders are just one group of stakeholders who matter. Suppliers and employees do, too.

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Digital Transformation on Purpose

Technology innovation offers an opportunity to resolve pressing social and environmental problems.

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Restoring Trust After a Scandal

After an ethics scandal, one company took an unusual step: Shifting its focus toward sustainability.

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Sustainability Metrics and Reporting

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Business and Public Policy

Aligning Business and Government on Climate Change

July 5, 2017 | David Kiron

The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord stems from a fundamental disagreement over whether industries and markets have world-changing power. The irony: Despite his strong stance on market solutions, the President’s position on climate change assumes markets to be weaker, not stronger.

Sustainability Global Research Surveys, 2013–2017

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Corporate Sustainability at a Crossroads

MIT SMR and BCG’s final sustainability research report offers eight lessons for sustainable business.

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Investing For a Sustainable Future

The 2016 MIT Sloan Management Review/BCG Sustainability Report finds investors’ concerns are being overlooked by executives.

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Joining Forces: Collaboration and Leadership for Sustainability

The 2014 Sustainability Report by MIT Sloan Management Review, BCG and the United Nations Global Compact highlights new global collaborations.

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Sustainability’s Next Frontier

The 2013 Sustainability Report by MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG looks at companies that “walk the talk.”

Sustainability Global Research Surveys, 2009–2012

Image courtesy of Flickr user Charles Cook.

The Business of Sustainability

The first annual Sustainability Report by MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG shows the effects of the 2009 global economic crisis.

Sustainability: The 'Embracers' Seize Advantage

The 2010 Sustainability Report by MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG sees two camps of companies.

Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point

The 2011 Sustainability Report by MIT Sloan Management Review and BCG shows sustainability moving permanently onto agendas.

The Innovation Bottom Line

The 2012 Sustainability Report by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group sees more companies reporting profits from sustainability practices.

Sustainability Partnerships

Building Lasting Collaborations With Government and NGOs

Integrating sustainability into company operations often means partnering with government agencies as well as nonprofits. For new businesses, two important points to keep in mind are that (1) it’s never too early to start, and (2) the collaborative approaches for each partnership may not be the same.

Aligning Business and Government on Climate Change

The U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord stems from a fundamental disagreement over whether industries and markets have world-changing power. The irony: Despite his strong stance on market solutions, the President’s position on climate change assumes markets to be weaker, not stronger.

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The Sustainable Supply Chain

Sustainable Procurement Requires Perseverance

Meeting your sustainability commitments requires long-term thinking and strategy.

Does Your Supply Chain Risk Management Strategy Hold Water?

Water’s low cost in many countries is not yet promoting responsible management within many companies.

What’s Your Strategy for Supply Chain Disclosure?

Today’s supply chains are required to be lean, agile, sustainable, and — increasingly — transparent.

The Trouble with Supply Chains

Auditing the supply chain is the biggest obstacle to putting sustainability principles into practice. Will the influx of big data initiatives change that?