Sustainability Clusters

Read more about the six Sustainability Clusters hosted by the Sustainability Platform



The purpose of the six Sustainability Platform Clusters is to contribute to sharpening the definition of what CBS currently does and what it invisions to do for sustainability for the future. The Clusters will work independently with researchers across CBS to highlight and position sustainability competences at our business school and facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration within and beyond CBS.

With seed funding from the Platform, the Cluster leaders conduct a number of activities within research, education and outreach. For example, clusters develop new content for Sustainability related teaching, pursue new research projects and applications for external funding, some co-writie publications on sustainability, and some work closely with students and external stakeholders on conferences, seminars and workshops.

Please contact the Sustainability Platform or Cluster leaders if you have ideas for activities, would like to collaborate, or if you have comments or questions on the foci of the Clusters.

See below for a description of the six sustainability clusters:

Cluster 1: Green Innovation and New Business Models

The Cluster on Green Innovation and New Business Models focuses on discussions and challenges around the increasing problems of global warming, resource scarcity and environmental deterioration which have a substantial and comprehensive impact on future business conditions. Companies must develop strategies to mitigate risks from supply disruptions, social unrest, rising materials costs, and pressures from regulators, NGOs and the general public. The efficient use of resources is important for competition, and the need for sustainable production and resource use will open up new opportunities for innovations in technology, products, services and business models. This Cluster explores and analyze theories, frameworks and empirical evidence on the conditions and tools for promoting and managing sustainable innovation and business models, with focus on environmental issues. The Cluster seeks to align both technological (and product and process) development and business model innovation, including market platforms and infrastructures.

Cluster researchers: Professor Jens Frøslev Christensen ( and Associate Professor Christian Erik Kampmann (, Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics.

Cluster 2: Sustainable Transitions in Developing and Emerging Economies

The focus of the Cluster on Sustainable Transitions in Developing and Emerging Economies stems from the notion that developing and emerging economies (DEEs) are one of the main engines of contemporary growth in the global economy. They face massive transitions in economic, social and environmental terms. In order to explain how business in these countries can contribute to sustainable growth, the Cluster explores (1) innovative approaches and North-South partnerships on technology co-production and transfer within clean-tech industries; (2) green innovation networks and capacity building in DEEs; (3) social entrepreneurship and social business models in DEEs; and (4) sustainability strategies of global firms that have implications in DEEs (Base-of-the-Pyramid markets, Sustainable Value Chains).

Cluster researchers: Associate Professors Søren Jeppesen (, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, and Stine Haakonsson (, Department of International Business and Politics.

Cluster 3: Governing Sustainability

The Cluster on Governing Sustainability takes it starting point in the recent flourish of the private governance of sustainability initiatives. Private actors, such as business firms and civil society groups, have created numerous initiatives addressing pressing social and environmental problems, both at the national and transnational levels. Some of these are strictly private; others are collaborative efforts with the public sector. The cluster is particularly interested in examining corporate codes of conduct, public-private partnership agreements, labeling schemes, and standard setting by multi- stakeholder initiatives, with a focus on (1) legitimacy and accountability processes and strategies related to private sustainability governance; (2) the effectiveness and impact of sustainability initiatives; (3) the dynamics of the relationship between hard and soft law; (4) the influence of the state on private sustainability governance; and (5) the organization of sustainability management in transnational firms.

Cluster researchers: Professor Andreas Rasche (, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management, and Associate Professor Steen Vallentin (, Department of International Business and Politics.

Cluster 4: Cluster on Communicative Dimensions of Sustainability

This cluster explores the communicative construction of sustainability across a variety of interests and stakeholders. Organizations are traditionally understood as instrumental spaces for managers to produce products and processes towards a more sustainable society. However, increasingly organizations appear as social and moral spaces where the meaning and role of sustainability is communicatively negotiated and co-constructed and no definite agreement seems to be achieved across publics. This development poses new challenges for business in their continous work to appear as legitimate participants vis á vis civil society, the political system and other organizational/corporate actors. Focus is on (1) how communication of sustainability has become a strategic tool for managers working in business, ngos and policy-making, (2) how traditional and social media play an important role in mediating issues of sustainability across publics, (3) how marketing and branding of sustainability influences consumption and public opinon, and (4) how different forms of political and corporate communication (via persuasion, facts, dialogue, etc.) about sustainability raise questions about the democratic models that underpin sustainability discourses. Against this backdrop, the Cluster brings together leading academics from a range of disciplines to explore the role and meaning of communication in a broad sense for the development of sustainability.

Cluster researchers: Professor Anker Brink Lund (, Department of International Business and Politics, and Assistant Professors Julie Uldam ( and Anne Vestergaard (, Department of Intercultural Communication and Management.

Cluster 5: Corporate Governance and Leadership for Sustainability Strategy

The Cluster on Corporate Governance and Leadership for Sustainability Strategy focuses on managerial behavior and performances related to responsibility in corporations, with a particular interest in how managers and leaders in firms relate to and behave vis á vis expectations to corporate sustainability strategies, policies and action. The Cluster pursues discussions that engage with how responsibility issues play a role in shaping systems and models of corporate governance and leadership and, conversely, how different models impact corporate responsibility and performances.Emphasis is placed on introducing the concept of to what extent responsibility brings demands for new management competences and management models into the management debate. The Cluster is particularly, but not exclusively, interested in exploring the relationships between sustainability and corporate performances with (1) board of director characteristics; (2) corporate ownership structures; (3) shareholder activism; (4) leadership approaches; (5) ethical considerations regarding corporate governance and leadership; and (6) comparisons of corporate governance and leadership approaches in a Scandinavian context vis-à-vis other global contexts.

Cluster researchers: Associate Professor Bersant Hobdari (, Department of International Economics and Management, and Georg Wernicke (, Department of International Economics and Management.

Cluster 6: Sustainability in the Post-Growth Economy

The Cluster on Sustainability in the Post-Growth Economy starts from the realization that the era of perpetual economic growth may be over. The Cluster explores and develops ideas and images of what a sustainable post-growth economy might look like. The purpose of such effort is to transform the end of growth from being the cause of social, economic and ecological depredation into being an opportunity for the creation of new forms of economic organization that do not rest upon the condition of growth. This challenge is approached by starting to rethink some fundamental economic concepts from the perspective of a post-growth economy: What is a company? What is work? What is leadership? What is money? What is consumption? What is a market? And what is in fact economic growth? The Cluster will approach these questions theoretically, by looking into assumptions rooted in the paradigm of growth capitalism, and empirically – by studying actual practices of alternative economic organization.

Cluster researchers: Associate Professor Ole Bjerg ( and Professor Bent Meier Sørensen (, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy.

Sidst opdateret: Sustainability Platform // 11/05/2016