News Stories · Sustainability - Leadership

IMD wins award in 2022 EFMD case writing competition

Professors Julia Binder and Heather Cairns-Lee were recognized in the Responsible Leadership category.
April 2023

IMD is pleased to announce that Julia Binder, Professor of Sustainable Innovation and Business Transformation, and Heather Cairns-Lee, Affiliate Professor of Leadership and Communication, have won the award for Responsible Leadership in the 2022 EFMD Case Writing Competition for a case examining how tech company Logitech created a carbon labeling methodology for their products. 

One of the main challenges facing companies in the transition to net zero emissions is the lack of co-ordination on decarbonization, and the need to develop industry-wide standards. 

Carbon is the new calorie: Logitech’s carbon impact label to drive transparency in sustainability, written by Binder, who is director of IMD’s Center for Sustainable and Inclusive Business, and Cairns-Lee, explores how the Swiss-American tech company is leading the change for more transparency on sustainability by implementing responsible business practices. 

It follows the journey of Prakash Arunkundrum, Head of Global Operations and Sustainability, and his team as they embark on an ambitious carbon labeling initiative to support Logitech’s aspiration to become climate positive. The team creates a transparent methodology for assessing, validating, and communicating the life cycle carbon value of their products. However, the most significant challenge they face is gaining industry-wide adoption of carbon labeling in the tech sector. 

“The case highlights the multifaceted nature of realizing ambitious sustainability goals, involving multiple stakeholders, and the difficulties in building strong partnerships,” said Binder. “It underscores the critical importance of responsible leadership, gaining internal support, and driving meaningful change,” emphasized Cairns-Lee. 

The EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) is a global, not-for-profit, membership-driven organization dedicated to management development worldwide. Since 1988, the purpose of the awards has been to reward innovation, seeking out the most impactful case writing and teaching. The Responsible Leadership category was sponsored by the University of San Diego School of Business. 

“We are thrilled to receive this award recognizing the importance of responsible leadership in driving sustainable solutions. The Logitech case exemplifies what it takes to commit to sustainability both internally and externally, and the necessary work to advocate for industry standards,” said Binder and Cairns-Lee.  

“Through this case, we hope to inspire managers and students to develop the critical skills and knowledge to engage stakeholders in sustainability and to recognize the critical role of message framing for influencing sustainable behavior. We hope that this case will serve as an inspiration for companies to collaboratively contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive society.” 

Case studies, which describe real-life business challenges, are popular tools in management education to hone learners’ ability to understand the minutiae and to analyze and strategize effectively. IMD’s faculty has been producing case studies for more than 50 years.  

EFMD is recognized globally as an accreditation body for business schools, business school programs, and corporate universities and currently has 972 institutional members in 90 countries worldwide. 

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