IESE Insight

Sustainability: Bringing Life to Your Business

IESE Insight 8

January 1, 2011

Robert G. Eccles and Kyle Armbrester of Harvard Business School suggest ways that firms can use cloud computing to report their social and environmental performance alongside their financial one. Ricardo G. Barcelona proposes a new way to segment 'green' consumers based on research he conducted during stints at IESE, Cranfield School of Management and the University of Asia and the Pacific. His findings flesh out previous market research aimed at defining those consumers who care about sustainability. Luk Van Wassenhove of INSEAD and Atalay Atasu of Georgia Tech's College of Management urge companies to seize hold of the sustainability agenda before they find themselves stuck with ill-conceived regulations that may rightfully require them to recycle but without thinking through the unintended consequences. IESE's Pascual Berrone recognizes the 'implementation gap' between wanting to address sustainability and actually doing it, which boils down to a firm's corporate governance model. It's necessary to align the interests of owners, boards and managers for the long haul, he says.Elsewhere in the magazine, MIT's David Simchi-Levi rejects the idea that initiatives to protect the environment or provide social value are a waste of time and money. When sustainability concerns are properly aligned with business value, they can 'generate a new stream of revenue or reduce costs in an innovative way.' He tackles this and six other myths related to operations.IESE Prof. José L. Nueno presents the findings of an international study of todays teenagers, and anticipates the consumption patterns that will affect the business world when they become young adults in 2020.In an exclusive interview with the president of Global Business Travel at American Express, Charles Petruccelli looks ahead at the trends that will change the way we do business from mobility to data continuity, privacy and protection. We also feature a business case study on the German software company SAP, discussing how best to implement transformation inside an organization. And we feature a fascinating interview with U.S. political strategist Steven Jarding, who likens a politician's bid for public office to the way CEOs reach the top - and how they handle power once they get there.