The notion of sustainability or sustainable development, as introduced in the Brundtland Commission’s report Our Common Future in 1987, has been on the political agenda for almost thirty years. The Brundtland report anticipated grave environmental and social problems unless contemporary models of development were modified, and called for redirecting development so to integrate environmental and social considerations into the public policies and business practices. This call for a new development order is as, if not more, relevant now in light of the current economic crisis, and the growing social and political unrest in the face of climate change.
Scholars affiliated with CBS Sustainability study a number of business-related research agendas regarding e.g. sustainable innovation and the development of clean technologies and energy systems; the role of models, codes, and standards in influencing corporate, citizen and consumer behaviour; the unlimited responsibility of corporations – the challenges of transparency and increased accountability; and the sustainability of globalization in emerging and developing economies.
CBS Sustainability researchers also explore “sustainable capitalism” in an open and public debate on the limits to growth and the constraints of capitalism, as we know it.
CBS Sustainability has been established to facilitate and foster research, develop CBS’ educational activities so as to enhance the competencies of CBS students within the field and enhance CBS’ outreach so as to increase the viability and visibility of new approaches to sustainable development.
The work of CBS Sustainability markes the conitnuation of the efforts taken by the CBS Sustainability Platform, which was the first of two platforms established at CBS as part of the “CBS Business in Society Strategy” in 2011.
CBS Sustainability draws upon and seeks to consolidate already existing research and teaching activities at CBS, which with the exception of the work being conducted within the CBS Centre for Business and Development Studies (CBDS) and CBS Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (cbsCSR) has been dispersed across departments. CBDS and cbsCSR are internationally recognized for their prominent, entrepreneurial faculty and excellent research results. However, in light of the grand challenges associated with coping with climate change, developing new energy technologies and systems, addressing increasing resource scarcity and the need for new institutional and social models for societal development, the aim of the Sustainability Platform was to support and strengthen these other dimensions of sustainability as well.
It is the vision of CBS Sustainability to help make Copenhagen Business School an internationally renowned hub for cross-disciplinary research and teaching on corporate sustainability and sustainable development. It is its mission 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. On of CBS Sustainability's main foci is 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.