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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Supporting Sustainable Development Goals Is Easier Than You Might Think

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals challenge companies to do well while doing good.

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How AI Will Define New Industries

The most valuable contributions of AI to the economy may be as an adjunct to advancing discoveries.

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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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Sustainability Metrics and Reporting

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The Intersection of Digital and Sustainable

The Convergence of Digitalization and Sustainability

January 17, 2018 | David Kiron and Gregory Unruh

Digitalization and sustainability are two of the most powerful market influences in the current business landscape. Each will change management practice, and more broadly, business and society. What happens when the two trends start influencing one another?

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.

Thinking Long-Term

Business Needs a Safety Net

As the effects of climate change become more prominent, business needs to grapple with its own attitudes toward government. A more destructive physical environment requires a more nuanced relationship in which government is viewed as a partner in enabling and supporting markets rather than as a regulator that needs to be managed.

Focusing on What 90% of Businesses Do Now Is a Big Mistake

It’s not smart to base any part of your strategy on what you see in the rear-view mirror — and that’s particularly true when you develop strategies for navigating modern, thorny environmental and social challenges. The norms and expectations about how companies manage sustainability issues are shifting fast: Just six years ago, only 20% of the S&P 500 companies produced sustainability reports, while by 2016, 82% did. Change is coming to business — and executives need to adjust.

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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?