Department of Management, Society and Communication

  • CBS Sustainability Centre
Associate professor

Room: DH.Ø.2.22
E-mail: kj.msc@cbs.dk

Kristjan Jespersen is an Associate Professor at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). As a primary area of focus, he studies the growing development and management of Ecosystem Services in developing countries. Within the field, Kristjan focuses his attention on the institutional legitimacy of such initiatives and the overall compensation tools used to ensure compliance. He has a background in International Relations and Economics.

Since August 2018, Kristjan Jespersen has been the coordinator of the CBS Impact for Innovation Lab (CBS Sustainability, Copenhagen Business School). The unique focus of the Impact for Innovation Lab would be its emphasis on the behavioural and business dimensions in the sustainability discourse. While considerable work has gone into the technical dimensions of sustainability, much less attention has been paid to the behavioural components and to the development of revenue models, business plans and commercialization strategies needed to make such innovations successful.

CBS Impact for Innovation Lab could play an important role in this area. For example, CBS researchers could develop research on the design and effectiveness of impactful research focused on supporting the sustainable transition. Specific focus is paid on the market potential and possible commercialization strategies for such features as dictated by impactful research.

The external partners of the project are Ramboll, Green Building Council, Confederation of Danish Industries, The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Primary research areas
  • Sustainability
  • Multistakeholder Initiatives
  • Transnational Networks
  • Global Commodity Chains
  • The Anthropocene
Curriculum Vitae
Link to this homepage
  • KAN-CCMVV1738U  (Coordinator and Lead Instructor) - Achieving the SDGs: Environmental Sustainability for Organizations (2018-)
  • KAN-CCMVV1737U  (Coordinator and Lead Instructor) - Achieving the SDGs: Feeding the Future of Agricultural Sustainability (2018-)
  • KAN-CCMVV1739U  (Coordinator and Lead Instructor) - Blockchain and Sustainable Digital Infrastructures for Business (2018-)
  • MSc BLC – (Coordinator and Lead Instructor) - Consulting for Sustainability – Harnessing Business Models and Innovation, Fall & Spring (2017 - ongoing)
Other teaching activities
  • CEMS – (Instructor) Responsible Leadership (Short Course) – (2015- ongoing).
  • CEMS – (Instructor) Business Project Course – (2015- ongoing).

Minor in Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG):
Kristjan Jespersen is primary coordinator of the minor. Read more here.

International Short Courses

International MBA Courses – (Coordinator and Lead Instructor) – Regenerative Sustainability – Course designed for International MBA students who travel to Copenhagen for an intensive one-week course on innovative themes related to sustainability. Participating Business Schools include Fuqua Duke, Ross UofMichigan, McCombs UTAustin, Rotman UofT, & Stern NYU – (2016- ongoing).

Courses include:

  • Sustainable Finance and Entrepreneurship
  • Human Well-Being in the Built Environment
  • BlockChain and Decentralizing Technologies

Read more about the international short courses: PDF iconShort term programs 2020

Selected publications

J Lyons-White, K Jespersen, C Gallemore, AS Catalano, RM Ewers (2021) Tackling the “wicked” conservation problem of tropical deforestation in global commodity supply chains using mixes of mechanisms. SocArXiv. DOI:10.31235/osf.io/gan7w

Gallemore, C., & Jespersen, K. (2019). Offsetting, Insetting, or Both? Current Trends in Sustainable Palm Oil Certification. Sustainability11(19), 5393.

Gallemore, C., Nielsen, K. R., & Jespersen, K. (2019). The uneven geography of crowdfunding success: Spatial capital on Indiegogo. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X19843925

Jespersen, K., & Gallemore, C. (2018). The Institutional Work of Payments for Ecosystem Services: Why the Mundane Should Matter. Ecological Economics, 146, 507-519

Gallemore, C., Guisinger, A., Kruuse, M., Ruysschaert, D., & Jespersen, K. (2018) Escaping the “Teenage” Years: The Politics of Rigor and the Evolution of Private Environmental Standards. Ecological Economics, 152,76-87.

Chan, K. M., Anderson, E., Chapman, M., Jespersen, K., & Olmsted, P. (2017). Payments for Ecosystem Services: Rife With Problems and Potential—For Transformation Towards Sustainability. Ecological Economics, 140, 110-122.

Gallemore, C., & Jespersen, K. (2016). Transnational Markets for Sustainable Development Governance: The Case of REDD+. World Development, 86, 79-94.

Professional Reports/White Papers

Jespersen, K., & Olmsted, P. (2019). “Strategic Approaches to Sustainability Reporting”. NEPCon, Sustainability Reporting for Palm Oil Companies. https://www.nepcon.org/projects/sustainability-reporting-palm-oil-companies

Jespersen, K., & Olmsted, P. (2019). “What to Report and How - Considering Sustainability Metrics”. NEPCon, Sustainability Reporting for Palm Oil Companies. https://www.nepcon.org/projects/sustainability-reporting-palm-oil-companies

Kristjan Jespersen, (2022) PDF iconSDG Materiality Report_Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)_Business Guidance

Publications sorted by:
Anirudh Agrawal; Kristjan Jespersen / How do Impact Investors Evaluate an Investee Social Enterprise? : A Framework of Impact Investing Process.
In: Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 25.1.2023
Journal article > peer review
Lea Kasper; Alina Hofer; Kristjan Jespersen / Constructing Social Portfolios : A Quantitative Versus Screening Approach.
: The Business of Society 2022
Net publication - Internet publication
Marco Morazzoni; Kristjan Jespersen / ESG Investing in an Changing Regulatory Environment : Investing in Active or Passive ESG Financial Products?.
Frederiksberg : The Business of Society 2022
Net publication - Internet publication
Kristjan Jespersen; Milena Karen Bär; Ottilia Henningsson / Environmentally Sound and Financially Rewarding? : Key Findings from an Emploratory Study on the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).
: The Business of Society 2022
Net publication - Internet publication
Caleb Gallemore; Kristjan Jespersen; Paige Olmsted / Harnessing Relational Values for Global Value Chain Sustainability : Reframing the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil's Offset Mechanism to Support Smallholders.
In: Ecological Economics, Vol. 193, 3.2022
Journal article > peer review
Zuzanna Lewandowska; Kristjan Jespersen / How Should Arctic Drilling Be Defined? : The 3 Key Problems with Formulating Investment Exclusions.
Frederiksberg : The Business of Society 2022
Net publication - Internet publication
Margherita Massazza; Kristjan Jespersen / How do We Think about Sustainable Investing? : Suggestions from an Exploratory Study.
Frederiksberg : The Business of Society 2022
Net publication - Internet publication
Lisa Bernt Elboth; Adrian Rudolf Doppler; Kristjan Jespersen / Institutions Matter : The Importance of Institutional Quality When Embedding Sustainability within the Capitalistic Realm.
Frederiksberg : The Business of Society 2022
Net publication - Internet publication
Zoë Ogahara; Kristjan Jespersen; Ida Theilade; Martin Reinhard Nielsen / Review of Smallholder Palm Oil Sustainability Reveals Limited Positive Impacts and Identifies Key Implementation and Knowledge Gaps
In: Land Use Policy, Vol. 120, 9.2022
Review article > peer review
Kristjan Jespersen; Naoko Matsutakeya; Katarína Svocáková / SDG Materiality Report : Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
København : Preferred by Nature 2022, 68 p.
Report > peer review
More results... (total 40 results)
Academic Interests

Collaborator and Academic Advisor in FutureTalks - FutureTalks: Engaging Citizens in Exploring Toronto's Future - As a Collaborator, during the term of the project (2018-2023).

Academic Advisory for the Liminus Foundation - Gros More National Park – Newfoundland – Canada - As an Academic Advisor, I develop experiments to be conducted within the national park on the topic of Payments for Ecosystem Services. The work supports the sustainable transition of small and medium sized firms.

Academic Collaborator - “TRANSFORM”: Accelerating Transformative Entrepreneurship Experiments in Local Spaces - (currently University of Waterloo, Arizona State University, Lund University, Leuphana University, Erasmus University, University of Graz, Copenhagen Business School) as well as small business, municipal, and civil society partners in each community. As an Academic Advisor I support the development of research and mentor companies within the network. (Funded).

Board Member – Management Committee – Nordic Rainforest Research Network - The organization is responsible for programming research and conservation efforts for the Maliau Basin, Malaysia (150,000 Hectares first growth forest).

International Expert - EU Funded - Institutional Capacity Development for University of Latvia – With special focus on assisting faculty to innovate on teaching and research practices.

Research Projects
Outside activities

Name of contractual partner

Duration of activity

Type of activity

Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil

May – June 2018

Research and Strategic Advice

NEPCON (Nature, Environment, People Connected)

January – May 2019

Research, Strategic Advice, report writing

University of Texas Austin – McCombs Business School, Department of Business, Governance, and Society 2019 - 2020 Adjunct Professor, Global + Program Instructor.
Circle House Lab - BLOXHUB 2020 Business analytics
Gemic 2021 Keynote Speech
Loh-Gronager Partners 2021 - ongoing ESG Advisory Services