Leading towards sustainability: Insights from three dynamic sessions

In three enlightening sessions with distinguished CBS researchers and leadership practitioners, we explored the dynamics in leading organizations towards sustainability and circular economy strategies, and the challenges of implementing take-back systems. Here are the overarching takeaways from our discussions.


Leadership for sustainability. How do we enable leadership to succeed with new sustainability regulations?

In Session 1, Andreas Rasche, Professor of Business in Society and Associate Dean at CBS, highlighted the importance of visionary leadership in navigating new sustainability regulations. Through insightful discussions with Mette Gyde Møller (Director Sustainable Innovation & Business Development, Dansk Industri), Frances Iris Lu (Vice President, Head of Group Sustainability & ESG, Danfoss), and Susanne Stormer (Partner ESC & Sustainability Services Leader, PWC), we learned that true leadership involves leveraging regulatory frameworks to drive meaningful change within organizations. By fostering cross-functional collaboration, empowering employees, and embracing a culture of continuous learning, businesses can not only comply with regulations but also thrive in a rapidly evolving landscape while creating a positive impact on society and the environment.

Leading Towards Sustainable and circular futures. Exploring paths for sustainable solutions

Session 2, chaired by Miriam Feuls, Assistant Professor at the Department of Organization, CBS, delved into the complexities of leading organizations towards sustainable and circular futures. Through panel talks with Lise Berg Kildemark (Director for Sustainable Packaging, Arla), Louise Lerche-Gredal (CEO, Plastic Change), and Simon Boas Hoffmeyer (Senior Director, Groups Sustainability and ESG, Carlsberg), we learned about the challenges of implementing circular economy strategies, particularly focusing on tackling plastic pollution. We also touched on how businesses can relate to goals set for a very distant future, such as being carbon neutral by 2050. By translating these distant-future goals into actionable solutions and fostering collaboration and innovation, businesses can pave the way towards a future where sustainability is not just a goal but a way of life.

Organizing for Take-Back: Challenges and Strategies

In Session 3, chaired by Torben Pedersen, Professor, & Rasmus Jørgensen, Postdoc at the Department of Strategy and Innovation, CBS, we explored the challenges of implementing take-back systems. Through presentations by Torben Pedersen, Julia Vol (Circularity Manager, Danfoss), and Christoffer Jørgensen (Circular Business Senior Project Manager, Grundfos), we gained insights into the hurdles businesses face in making take-back systems feasible and financially viable. By embracing strategic approaches to circularity, learning from global perspectives, and fostering a culture of environmental responsibility, organizations can overcome these challenges and drive towards a more sustainable future.


In conclusion, leadership for sustainability isn't merely about compliance; it's about driving meaningful change, inspiring innovation, and fostering a culture of environmental responsibility within organizations. By addressing regulatory challenges, embracing circular economy principles, and prioritizing environmental responsibility, businesses can not only comply with regulations but also create lasting value for society and the planet.

The page was last edited by: CBS Leadership Centre // 05/08/2024