top of page

Transforming Management and Integrating Sustainability

By Robert Sroufe –

I have had the opportunity to transform core courses and design curriculum as part of The Corporate Knight’s #1 ranked MBA sustainability program in the US, resulting in award-winning courses (AoM, DSI, POMS, USC Page Prize, Aspen Institute, and University awards), while developing over a half dozen new courses based on the recognition that current operations and strategy paradigms do not support sustainable business or climate survival. Here are some lessons learned and resources.

A Few Highlights with Resources on page 2:

  • Integrated Management, shows that ESG is already part of every business discipline. Storytelling is important, it’s not about marketing the problem, it’s about selling the solution – how sustainability creates value for any business. To this end, I have developed a Functional Integration Assignment where students find the drivers, enablers, and performance metrics for ESG in any function.

  • The development of Building-based Learning; BSchools as Living Labs: for over ten years I have had a Design Competition, developing an integrated systems approaches from as IS/IT, management, and green buildings, to going beyond a first cost, single bottom line understanding of CapEx projects. This has led to developing thinking and financial performance metrics around Integrated bottom lines (IBL), including environmental impacts and the social cost of CO2 in decision-making. We can ask what have traditional financial metrics overlooked and where are opportunities for improvement.

  • Think about how we can design dashboards; ask students what they want performance to be measured on; can find and show examples of existing dashboards that include ESG performance and align company value proposition, products, and services with UN SDGs.

  • Ask what it will take to be carbon neutral for a company, for a student and then work through the process of defining the goal and scope of the goal, measurement, and how can we get to numbers like “zero” “net positive” “neutral”.

  • I also design, develop, and deliver experiential learning, core required courses that are live consulting projects. We have done just short of 200 projects involving the value proposition of sustainability since the launch of the program. No two projects have been the same. I have run from three to seven projects a semester with teams no larger than five students.

  • Sustainable supply chain management and Operations provide a platform to rethink how we manufacture and move goods, the services companies provide, and how a myopic focus on cost misses a larger value proposition and “opportunity” for ESG integration. You can manage what you do not measure. We can model uncertainty, i.e., @Risk software to look at a price on carbon and see how it will impact operations. ~ 25% of the world has a price on carbon dioxide.

  • Strategically align classes with AACSB Standard 9 as BSchools report Societal Impacts.

  • Faculty must be prepared to continually research and revise their material as the world around us changes exponentially. The good news is that there is material available to build on.

  • Simulation option: ENRoads Climate Interactive, Ambassadors are available for your classrooms, exercises for students, country level simulation is CRoads.


Download the PDF to read more.

Transforming Management and Integrating Sustainability
Download PDF • 122KB


bottom of page