The Institute for Sustainable Business Practice (ISBP) explores, promotes, and seeks to drive principles of sustainability within business and organizational practice. Our programs and services serve three constituents: business organizations and professionals in the northeast Ohio region, BW students, and BW faculty.
We operate from the premise that 21st-century ecological and social issues will present unavoidable challenges for business organizations in our region and across the globe. These challenges include climate change, scarce natural resources, human population growth, instability of financial markets, changing roles and responsibilities of governments and the long-term health of ecosystems around the world. These factors will impact successful business models of the future. Reduced corporate environmental footprints, the development of sustainable products and services, higher levels of transparency, evolving relations with corporate stakeholders will likely be components of that future. Successful organizations will transform these challenges into opportunities for high performance.
Serving the Business Community and our Region
ISBP serves as a resource for the northeast Ohio business community and other organizations in their efforts to integrate sustainable practices within their own operations. Focusing on concepts such as the "triple bottom line,"we will promote sustainability principles that generate tangible change within organizations. Our programs and services for the business community do not center on theoretical research, but on actual change and transformation that is measured by tangible outcomes. These will include organizational consulting services, peer learning for groups of business managers, and larger educational programs open to the public that advance applied knowledge of relevant sustainability topics.
Because sustainability is such a rapidly evolving movement, we aim to work collaboratively in everything that we do. No single individual, organization, or discipline brings all the answers to sustainability challenges. Solutions and best practices that add real value emerge through openness and collaboration across disciplines, functions, and sectors. We believe that sustainability offers tremendous opportunities for businesses and regions that successfully embrace the process more effectively than their competitors.
Serving Our Students
ISBP will enhance the educational experience of BW undergraduate and graduate students by providing programs and resources that promote principles of sustainability. Our goal is that BW graduates are well versed in sustainable practices that enhance the success of their work organizations, the well-being of the communities in which they live, and the health of the planet.
Serving Our Faculty
We understand sustainability to be a broad endeavor that stretches beyond any single academic discipline or course. ISBP will serve as a resource for our business faculty and faculty from across the College to promote their knowledge of sustainability in order to intentionally infuse concepts of sustainability into both undergraduate and graduate business curricula, as well as other academic programs of the College where appropriate and feasible.
New Business Honors Courses
In addition, ISBP provides a conceptual home for the development of a new business honors track within the College Honors Program that the Division of Business Administration will launch in fall semester 2011 for undergraduate business majors and minors.
Our Programs and Services
The BW Sustainability Symposium: On an annual basis, we offer a major two-day public event that focuses on major sustainability themes critical to 21st-century businesses. Our inaugural event in October 2008 featured Stuart Hart, renowned management sustainability theorist at Cornell University.
Our 2010 symposium took place March 1-2, 2010 with the theme "Climate and Carbon." It included world and nationally renowned speakers; panel discussions focused on topics relating to energy and climate change directly relevant to businesses and other organizations in northeast Ohio. It brought together approximately 50 corporate, nonprofit, and governmental sponsors. This event was free and open to the general public.
Other major events will be made available to the general public.
Consulting/Collaboration with Organizations: ISBP offers sustainability-consulting services tailored to the needs of local businesses. Teams of faculty and student consultants can help local companies produce tangible outcomes to their bottom lines, their interactions within their communities, and their impacts on the natural environment. Consulting and peer learning opportunities are available for managers of local companies to advance organizational effectiveness in sustainable performance.
Campus Speakers: The program will share a growing wealth of managerial and corporate expertise among northeast Ohio corporations and beyond with students and faculty on our campus to help them keep abreast of changing business practices in sustainability.
Faculty Development: A summer sustainability teaching workshop and other venues will provide on-going education for faculty from across our academic programs to enhance their capacities to bring sustainability concepts into their courses.
Curricular Development: We will explore and develop new opportunities for programmatic innovations within our curricula. Currently, we are in the design phase of a new MBA in Sustainability. We aim to launch this new program as early as Fall 2010. In addition, business courses will need constant revision as the field of corporate sustainability develops and broadens. We will also promote development of new courses and study tours that focus on corporate sustainability.
BW's Broader Commitment to Sustainability
Baldwin Wallace is committed to being a regional and national academic leader in sustainability. In Fall 2008, we launched the state of Ohio's and the Midwest's first undergraduate major in sustainability. We are committed to trying to "walk our talk" through constant transformation of all of our campus practices. These include energy conservation; conversion to clean energy sources; waste reduction, recycling, and composting; consideration of the integrity of the ecosystem in which our campus resides, and our relations within our own neighborhoods and local communities.
David Krueger is director of the ISBP. He has served on the BW faculty for 20 years and holds the Charles E. Spahr Chair in Managerial and Corporate Ethics in the Division of Business Administration. He is also co-director of BW's sustainability major, the first in Ohio and the midwest region.
Susan Kuznik is director of the business honors track, affiliated with ISBP. In its developmental phase, the track will focus on sustainability, ethics, and leadership and will be offered for select business majors in their junior and senior years. We aim to begin the program in Fall 2011.