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:
- It is factual - always based on the best available scientific knowledge
- 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
- 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