About the CSL Learning Platform

The CSL Learning Platform is a learning initiative that is an integral part of IMD's Global Center for Sustainability Leadership. The Learning Platform pursues a mission as a thought leadership, research and learning platform. It contributes to leadership in sustainable development through a focus on mainstreaming social and environmental issues on corporate strategic agendas and the promotion - through knowledge sharing events and roundtables - of strategic innovation and best practice in sustainability initiatives.

Why should my company join the CSL Learning Platform? Get a flavor of the membership benefits and catalogue of services and contact our CSL Learning Platform Director, Aileen Ionescu-Somers to partner with IMD on your Corporate Sustainability Management strategic journey.

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Member Companies


Join the CSL Learning Platform "club" as a privileged member and:

  • Partner with IMD on your corporate sustainability management strategic journey.
  • Send your corporate managers to sustainability learning events free of charge or at a discount.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of key contacts in a diversity of companies.
  • Use CSL as a platform to share ideas, problems and solutions with organizations outside your traditional business area.
  • Through networking, gain new insights and identify upcoming hot topics for your company.
  • Communicate your CSL message and work on your CSL strategy with one of the world's most reputable business schools.
  • Consult with IMD Faculty and IMD research staff on CSL topics.
  • Through early access to CSL research outputs, gain new insights and identify your upcoming challenges and opportunities through:

    • Cutting edge case studies
    • Working papers/articles/books on CSL management challenges
    • Results of empirical research projects
    • Influence the CSL research agenda to address your most pressing challenges

Should you wish to become a member please contact the CSL Learning Platform Director, Aileen Ionescu-Somers.

The CSL Learning Platform's catalogue of services

The Learning Platform aims to be the academic partner of companies on their "sustainability journey," helping them to embed their sustainability strategies in a variety of ways, some of which are detailed in this section.

For more information about the catalogue of services contact Aileen Ionescu-Somers, Director of the CSL Learning Platform.

Open Innovation Workshops

CSL Learning Platform can develop a team-based, cross-functional learning event to tackle social and environmental management challenges in your organization. CSL has pioneered an open innovation approach to corporate sustainability that results in robust, cost-effective action plans that can quickly be implemented. We have successfully applied our open innovation approaches to organizations addressing sustainability in areas ranging from product design and supply chain management to labor practices and plant operations in environmentally sensitive areas.

Stakeholder Dialogues

Stakeholder dialogue is essential to the successful implementation of sustainable business practices. CSL can provide expertise in balancing perspectives and facilitating consensus building so that participants in stakeholder dialogues can exchange strategies, insights and practical skills to reach pioneering solutions in sustainable corporate practices. We collaborated with Nespresso when it launched its Triple A sustainable coffee sourcing program, and have organized stakeholder dialogues for the Global Forests and Trade Initiative, as well as the WWF Climate Savers Program.

Case Studies

CSL Learning Platform has a robust record of writing ground-breaking and prize-winning cases about the challenges of reconciling social and environmental issues with business strategy and can develop cases about sustainability in your organization. Cases are effective tools for disseminating best practices both internally and with top companies that are confronting similar challenges. IMD cases are also used worldwide by other business schools and showcase corporate innovations in social and environmental responsibility.

Unilever Tea (a): Revitalizing Lipton's supply chain
Unilever Tea (b): Going beyond the low-hanging fruits

Research Associates Dr Tania Braga and Dr Heidi Strebel prepared this case under the supervision of Dr Aileen Ionescu-Somers and Professor Ralf W. Seifert.

The above case studies won the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) case writing competition in the Supply Chain Management category and were highlighted in an article published by the Financial Times

Company-specific Projects

CSL Learning Platform carries out company-specific research projects on in-house sustainability initiatives. For example we collaborated with Hilti to find a business case for increasing already highly progressive health and safety standards within the company. We also worked with Novartis to develop an action plan to improve access to medicine in developing countries. Such projects are often published by IMD in the form of articles or working papers and can become a catalyst to further educational opportunities and insights into state-of-the art sustainability and corporate responsibility practices. CSL Learning Platform carries out sponsored projects for companies and organizations where there are research and learning opportunities to mainstream social and environmental responsibility in policy and practice and introduce sustainable innovations.

WWF Climate Savers Innovation

The WWF Climate Savers Program commissioned IMD to develop a series of case studies that highlighted innovative practices in carbon saving products and processes. The cases feature companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Lafarge, Novo Nordisk, Nokia Siemens Networks and Tetra Pak (all cases are made available to CSL members).

Embedding sustainable sourcing strategies in companies

CSL Learning Platform in partnership with the Sustainability Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform runs an annual Master Class for mainstream managers in companies along the food & beverage value chain. It focuses on how to integrate sustainable agriculture and procurement practices and make the business case for sustainable agriculture. This workshop experience is a learning opportunity for managers but is also an innovation incubator, generating ideas for new research as well as an understanding of how to overcome barriers to strategic integration.

Communicating Corporate Purpose

CSL Learning Platform, in collaboration with its partner Burson Marsteller will produce a quantitative meta-analysis of the impact of corporate purpose communication on financial performance. The evolving role of corporate sustainability in communicating corporate purpose - and particularly in social media - is also part of this research. A Master Class on Communicating Corporate Sustainability, to benchmark the latest thinking in this area of activity and research, will be subsequently designed.

A specially dedicated members only portal is accessible to key contacts at member companies. This site gives easy access to CSL Learning Platform research products, which is just one of the multiple benefits of being a CSL Learning Platform member. The portal is updated regularly as content is generated from events and new research.

The portal has been designed to give a maximum amount of material including case studies, published articles, book chapters, IMD's thought pieces (Perspectives for Managers and Tomorrow's Challenges), reports, working papers and presentations given at various events. All this information has been selected and sorted into ten themes that are easily downloadable.

Member companies can easily access the portal through myIMD. Should you need any assistance with the access or the use of the site please contact Kay Richiger, CSL Learning Platform Coordinator.

Should you wish to have more information on the CSL Learning Platform or should you wish to become a member please contact the CSL Learning Platform Director, Aileen Ionescu-Somers.

Contact Us

IMD Global Center for Sustainability Leadership
Chemin de Bellerive 23,
P.O. 915, CH-1001 Lausanne

Tel: +41 21 618 01 85

Contact Us

How can innovation for sustainability be accelerated?

Isabelle Welton
VP IBM Europe Brand System and IBMer Enablement

How do you embed sustainability into an organization?

Geoff MacDonald, Global VP of Human Resources, Marketing, communications, Sustainability & Talent

How can partnerships be more efficient in moving innovation for sustainability into the mainstream?

Robert Berendes, Head of Business Development & Corporate Strategy

IMD Global Center for Sustainability Leadership