The Center for Sustainable Business was launched in October of 2019, in a very different market than the one we face today. Thanks to step-change funding and strategic guidance from The Heinz Endowments in November 2021, the Center sought to
- Keep providing the convening value that resonates with companies
- Provide relevant support beyond just convening in order to help companies accelerate their evolution through these market changes of shifting competing stakeholder priorities
- Find the one to three areas we could excel in rather than seek to be all things sustainable business to everyone
Given the seismic shifts in society since our founding, the Center embarked on a journey to hone in on a purpose statement, and new workstreams to meet the challenges of this new era. One key trend seen over the last years is fracture lines across every aspect of the market. The pandemic showed the world that our economies are not as resilient as we need them to be. The new workstreams were a response to where we saw the most need, the fewest resources, and our strengths to
- Respond to new issues raised by the pandemic and the growing climate crisis, within those
- Focus on the issues with the least resources and greatest Blue Ocean potential, within those
- Leverage the Center’s unique strategy strengths and position as part of an R1 academic institution
The Three Workstreams
- Decarbonize Middle America efforts will increase the number of companies in the region with working 2030 Target strategies aligned to the Paris Accord’s 1.5 degrees Celsius ambitions for a just transition to clean and circular economies. This includes the Center’s Marshall Plan for Middle America initiative.
- Workforce 100% efforts will increase the number of companies in the region that turn rhetoric into action with strategies toward workforces 100% representative of their communities with thriving work for all by 2030.
- ESG Rosetta Stone efforts will increase the Environmental, Social, Governance literacy of the region in partnership with Doughnut Economics Action Lab and others so that literate talent is stepping into more leadership roles in all sizes at all levels and are able to collaborate across all functions by 2025.