Academic Thought - Sustainability Action

The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise conducts both scholarly and applied research. Our scholarly work pushes the envelope on sustainability science, while our applied research drives impact here and now through practical hands-on approaches for management. The institute focuses on four priority research areas:  Human Development, Global Change, Corporate Governance and Conscious Consumption. Read more about Erb Institute - Business for Sustainability here.

Featuring articles by:

Joe Árvai is the Max McGraw Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and the Director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Joe is an internationally recognized expert in the risk and decisions sciences, with a specific focus on developing and testing decision-aiding tools and approaches that can be used by people to improve decision quality across a wide range of environmental, social, and economic contexts.

Andrew (Andy) Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Professor Hoffman's research uses organizational behavior models and theories to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations.  

Thomas P. Lyon holds the Dow Chair of Sustainable Science, Technology and Commerce. Professor Lyon uses economic analysis to understand corporate environmental strategy and how it is shaped by emerging government regulations, non-governmental organizations, and consumer demands.

Content from this campaign


Sowing Doubt and Undermining Science
Science should be able to speak for itself. But people with a vested interest in undermining science are working behind the scenes to obscure it.

Green Infrastructure

The Detroit Water Crisis and Unexpected Coalitions
Detroit’s water crisis offers broader lessons on the ways that many different parties can build support for institutions that are in decline.

Responsible Production & Consumption

Agree to Disagree — With Yourself
The tougher the choices we have to make, the less sense we make making them. Understanding and educating ourselves can help us make better-informed decisions more consistent with our values.


Climate Change Is Not Just an Environmental Issue
The term “environmental justice” still may be unfamiliar to some people, but you don’t have to be familiar with it to understand what it means when you see it.

Research, Reports & Publications

New Ways to Study Individual Corporations’ Supply Chains
In choosing where to invest, what products to develop and push, and what environmental and labor standards to uphold, corporations continually shape the global economy’s geography and its effects.

Research, Reports & Publications

The Faculty Member Who Fights Fake News – Erb Institute Faculty Andy Hoffman in La Nación

Research, Reports & Publications

Why Sustainability Should Include Political Activity – Professor Tom Lyon in the California Management Review
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives have gone mainstream, but they are missing something important: They ignore corporations’ political actions, including lobbying and campaign funding, which can drastically alter corporations’ environmental and social impact. In some cases, companies cynically engage in the strategy of “talking green while lobbying brown.” Corporations report on social and environmental sustainability metrics but typically not on political ones, which can allow them to get away with irresponsible lobbying activity.

Diversity & Inclusion

When You Realize, It’s Not Just You. – Shedding Light on Gender and Navigating Academia
Or how two professors are bringing awareness and a voice to gender issues in higher education: Erb Staffer Carolyn Kwant talks with Sara Soderstrom, Asst. Professor, University of Michigan and Maria Farkas, Asst. Professor, Department of Management, Imperial College Business School.

Sustainable Finance & Socially Responsible Investment

Erb Institute Partners With The Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) in India
Erb Faculty Director Joe Árvai and I took Erb on the road in November—to India! India is one of the institute’s priority emerging markets for sustainability impact, and we’ve been working with the India Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) to develop a partnership for research, teaching and business-engagement opportunities. Erb sponsored CRB’s annual “India and Sustainability Standards” conference this year, and Joe and I were asked to speak at the November 14-16 event in Delhi.

Events, Media & Communications

Erb Managing Director, Shadow Companies in Palm Oil Supply Chains, and Business’s Social License to Operate: A Conversation with Innovation Forum’s Ian Walsh
While in London recently, Erb Institute Managing Director, Terry Nelidov sat down with Ian Welsh at Innovation Forum to discuss trends in how companies approach their social license to operate, and why it is increasingly regarded as essential.

More from University of Michigan: Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability

  1. Erb Institute Sustainability Experts in the News
    The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is renowned for its contributions to business sustainability through research, teaching and...
  2. Business Sustainability for Practitioners
    What is the benefit of a lot of great thinking in the pursuit of business sustainability if it can't be put into practical application? We asked...
  3. Academic Thought - Sustainability Action
    The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise conducts both scholarly and applied research. Our scholarly work pushes the envelope on...