Nobel Peace Prize Winner Visits European Business Class to Discuss Environmental Sustainability

During Core Course Week, Nobel Peace Prize winner John Robinson visited the European Business Strategy: Case Studies core course to discuss corporate environmental sustainability.

DIS DIS Copenhagen Semester

John Robinson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Al Gore in 2007 for his work writing the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report. Today, he is the Associate Provost of Sustainability at The University of British Columbia and is a professor with UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability and Department of Geography.

The discussion surrounded regenerative sustainability — a new approach to business sustainability strategies, in which a company takes a proactive approach to improving its environmental impact instead of merely adhering to environmental standards. This way, instead of just avoiding detrimental effects to the planet, this method is forward-thinking and beneficial to the environment.

With this approach as the foundation for discussion, the class questioned why many firms are reactive instead of proactive in regards to environmental policy, governance, and innovation. The group debated how their consumer and employment decisions are often influenced by a firm’s corporate social responsibility practices. They also noted how American universities use the concept of sustainability to attract students to their campuses, and how firms could potentially implement similar strategies.

DIS faculty member Kristjan Jespersen, who teaches European Business Strategy: Case Studies and Business Strategies in the Green Industries, was enthusiastic to hear and be a part of a discussion based on how business leaders “could be architects for a more sustainable future.”

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