Research Areas

Although the concept of sustainable development has existed for over three decades, sustainability is still a relatively new field for business management. While several authors have documented the business case for sustainability, there are still a number of important areas that need to be researched in order to understand how businesses can incorporate sustainability into the core of their strategies.

The research that has been published on business and sustainability is often rhetorical, anecdotal and lacks rigor. This is a serious shortcoming since businesses need to have a better understanding of how to approach society's sustainability demands. CSL has undertaken the task of developing applied research on sustainability - scientific study that seeks to solve practical sustainability problems and to develop innovative technologies.

The sustainability research promoted by CSL at IMD has at least three characteristics:

  1. It is factual - always based on the best available scientific knowledge
  2. It aims to identify value creation and responsible leadership - addressing how businesses reconnect company success with social progress to achieve economic, ecological and social success and shared responsibility
  3. It focuses on sustainable innovation - identifying companies that are continuously involved in the process of creating, innovating and leading a transformation

The center focuses its research on the following areas:

  • Sustainable leadership
  • Sustainability and innovation
  • Sustainability in the luxury industry
  • Assessing the efficiency of sustainability supply chains
  • Business response to the climate change and energy challenge
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • New financial business models for the sustainable enterprise

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

Rethinking Sustainability - Part 1

The Leadership Equation
Professor Francisco Szekely

Rethinking Sustainability - Part 2

Research Findings
Professor Francisco Szekely

Award in the EFMD case writing competition

IMD was honored by an award for the Unilever Tea (A) & (B) cases. This case series provides an example of a pioneering sustainability initiative that encompasses not only product and process innovation but also system innovation.

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IMD Global Center for Sustainability Leadership