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Official CSB Launch

October 24, 2019

The Center for Sustainable Business launched with a daylong event that drew more than 100 partners and guests.

Media coverage of the event: University TimesPittwireWTAE-TV Pittsburgh


View the full agenda and speaker bios.

Opening Remarks
"Introducing the Center for Sustainable Business at Pitt"

  • Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean
  • Ann E. Cudd, Provost & Senior Vice Chancellor
  • William Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh
  • CB Bhattacharya, CSB Director & H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability & Ethics

The event opened with welcoming remarks from campus and community leaders who applauded the Center’s contribution towards building a sustainable future. “Together we are committed to facilitating partnerships for a more sustainable world,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd.

Mayor Bill Peduto added: “The U.N. SDGs that were created for nations to follow can only be implemented by institutions, cities and corporations at the local level. When cities and companies decide to adopt those principles, we can change the world.” Since its inception, the CSB continues to work closely with the Mayor's Office and the City of Pittsburgh.

Partnership is the New Leadership
"Using Strategic Partnerships to Leverage Corporate Sustainability"

  • Andrew McElwaine, Vice President, The Heinz Endowments
  • Wayne S. Balta, Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs & Product Safety, IBM Corporation
  • Teressa Szelest, President, Market & Business Development, BASF
  • Marcus Krembs, Director of Sustainability, Enel North America
  • Moderated by Dr. Leslie Marshall

A panel of nonprofit and business leaders representing some of the CSB’s founding sponsors discussed the importance of collaboration. “The Pitt CSB’s collaborative strategies for guiding organizations toward more sustainable practices will help improve regional environmental quality, promote a higher quality of life and create a more prosperous future for all,” said Andrew McElwaine, vice president of sustainability at The Heinz Endowments.

Training Future Leaders
"Creating a Culture of Sustainability Ownership: The Sustainability Generalist"

Workshop Moderated by Prof. CB Bhattacharya

Prof. CB Bhattacharya led a hands-on workshop to give invited guests a glimpse into what lies ahead. “Attention to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits has never been more important in business, but companies often fail to reap the full value of their investments in sustainability and corporate responsibility because sustainability is not well integrated throughout the organization,” said Bhattacharya. Attendees gathered in small discussion groups to brainstorm around the topic of what it would take to make every one a "sustainability generalist" — what tools, skills, resources, and training that would be needed to realize a world where every employee is empowered to think and act through a sustainability lens regardless of their role or title within the organization?

Research in Practice
"Investing in Corporate-Academic Partnerships to Generate New Knowledge"

  • Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan, "The Next Phase of Business Sustainability"
  • Karen Winterich, Frank & Mary Smeal Research Fellow and Professor of Marketing, Penn State University, "Knowing What it Makes: How Product Transformation Salience Increases Recycling"

Prof. Andrew Hoffman and Prof. Karen Winterich gave academic presentations highlighting their research in corporate sustainability. Prof. Hoffman discussed the transition business schools must undertake from enterprise integration to market transformation, meaning the level of analysis must shift from individual corporations to the system as a whole. Prof. Winterich explored consumer behavior by taking a close look at how marketing recycled product transformation, such as a water bottle becoming athletic apparel, impacts recycling behavior.


Keynote Address

  • John Viera, Former Global Director, Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford Motor Company, and Current Executive-in-Residence, The Erb Institute, University of Michigan

John Viera delivered an impactful keynote address, in which he reflected on his time at Ford Motor Company and emphasized the value of actionable goals that align with business interests.

Watch John Viera's keynote address »