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


With Great Platforms Comes Great Responsibility

How do we prevent bad actors from using social media platforms to manipulate the public?


Six Reasons Why Companies Should Start Sharing Their Long-Term Thinking With Investors

Companies should be more forthcoming about long-term value-creation strategies when communicating with investors.


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.


Corporate Social Responsibility


Using Technology to Improve Efficiency

Digital Audits as a Tactical and Strategic Management Resource

October 12, 2017 | Alexis Bateman

New factory audit processes help companies that outsource production to evaluate supplier performance in more depth, leading to more effective decision-making. Three key issues that hamper modern auditing — standardization, cost inflation, and fraud — are being mitigated by new systems that automate the inspection process while tailoring it to specific inputs. The result: analytical capabilities that go beyond the classic audit model.

Facing Climate Change

Why Companies Should Report Financial Risks From Climate Change

Meeting the recommendations for disclosure put forth by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures might seem like a tough job. But if the oil & gas industry is any example, it’s not as difficult as some might imagine — and there are excellent reasons for corporate boards to consider it.

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.


The Sustainable Supply Chain

A Three-Point Approach to Measuring Supply Chain Sustainability

Supply chain sustainability reporting depends on context, collaboration, and communication.

Strategies for Business Resilience

Recognizing interdependencies is key to creating resilient businesses.

Automating Supply Chain Resilience Should Be High on Your Digital Agenda

Advanced risk identification tools require companies to take a new approach to supply chain resilience.

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.


Sustainability Global Research Surveys, 2013–2017


Corporate Sustainability at a Crossroads

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


Investing For a Sustainable Future

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


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.


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.