Organization and function of CBS Sustainability
CSB Sustainability is an organizational unit promoting and coordinating sustainability-related work at CBS. Continuing the work initiated by the BiS platform “CBS Sustainability” (2011-2016), the initiative facilitates the development of research, education and outreach activities on sustainability across CBS, universities in Denmark and internationally. It is supported financially by the Department of Business and Politics (DBP), the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy (MPP), and the Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC).
The objectives of the collaboration are threefold:
- Internal coordination
- External visibility and outreach
- Operational support and capacity building for research applications, teaching and outreach activities.
CBS Sustainability is a separate entity with its own advisory board, roles and responsibilities. Its daily operations are carried out in collaboration between the director and the manager of the CBS Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR) in dual roles.
One of the important functions of the unit is to act as a communication and coordination vehicle for sustainability-related activities at CBS. Thus, it serves as a single entry point allowing external stakeholders easier access to the wide range of activities in the field of sustainability carried out at CBS.
The vision of CBS Sustainability is to help make Copenhagen Business School an internationally renowned hub for cross-disciplinary research and teaching on corporate sustainability and sustainable development.
The mission of CBS Sustainability is to initiate and coordinate sustainability-related research, teaching and outreach activities across departments at CBS and across academic disciplines. CBS Sustainability works to enable cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration among researchers, experts and professionals – nationally and internationally. Furthermore, CBS Sustainability works to build networks and bridge expertise from the social, technical and natural sciences in order to help break down barriers between knowledge silos. This is a necessary part of continual efforts to understand and cope with sustainable development as a social, environmental and economic challenge.
CBS Sustainability serves as a single entry point allowing external stakeholders easier access to relevant resources and activities at CBS, while also making it easier for CBS faculty to identify opportunities for collaboration with CBS colleagues and researchers from other universities.
CBS Sustainability works to create new possibilities for collaboration that can help widen the scope of sustainability-related research at CBS and support joint research applications. The concrete strategic priorities of CBS Sustainability will be changing over time. For the time being, CBS Sustainability is aiming to create opportunities for collaboration and research development within two areas in particular: 1) circular and sharing economy; 2) sustainable management and work-life. The former, with its focus on the design of (more circular, less linear) production systems and on digital platforms for sharing, holds great potential for research collaboration and the involvement of different departments/disciplines at CBS along with researchers from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the University of Copenhagen (KU). These opportunities are already being pursued. The latter involves a broadening of the sustainable agenda to include management processes and work-life in modern organizations – private as well as public. The purpose is to create a new platform for addressing matters of employee health, motivation, work-life balance, workplace environment, work-related stress and sick-leave, and how organizations and their management cope with such issues. This research direction strongly emphasizes the social pillar of sustainability and will enable renewed collaboration between research environments at CBS covering different aspects of management and/or leadership, including issues such as trust and recognition.
Teaching has an important role to play in the development of sustainability efforts at CBS. Teaching is thus an important medium for on-going cross-fertilization between researchers from different research environments and between theory and practice. This is not only a matter of providing research-based teaching, but also of letting research be inspired by teaching and seeing students and their learning processes as potential inputs for knowledge development. Invitations for professionals and researchers to participate in teaching activities at CBS form an integral part of collaborative efforts and network-building of CBS Sustainability – and it supports the quality and helps to assure the practical relevance of our teaching. It can also provide input for experimentation with new forms of (blended) learning and ways to bridge theory and practice.
CBS Sustainability builds on and supports existing networks such as COSI (Copenhagen Sustainability Initiative) and works actively to create new ones and strengthen ties to research environments at other universities, to businesses, organizations and student associations. Outreach comes in many forms, but the primary vehicle is the establishment of a new CBS Sustainability Network, which comprises mainly of professionals from leading businesses and organizations in the field of sustainability. The idea is to create a research-based forum for on-going knowledge exchange and candid conversations about cutting edge topics in sustainable development. Apart from this content, the CBS Sustainability Network serves the dual purpose of allowing participants easier access to researchers and resources at CBS and making it easier for CBS faculty to gain access to practitioners and business resources.