Reconsidering the Idea of ‘Sustainability’
Professor Andy Hoffman discusses the need for a fundamental shift in thinking.
Although the concept of sustainability gets a lot of attention in the public debate, Michigan Ross Professor Andy Hoffman argues that it’s time to think bigger. In a new interview on the “Investigating Knowledge” blog, Hoffman builds on his work with John Ehrenfeld to explain why the world needs a major change in how we frame the issue.
“Today the environment, and sustainability more broadly, has really gone mainstream. We have chief sustainability officers, environmental annual reports, socially responsible investing. It’s all there, but the problems continue to get worse,” Hoffman says in the article. “So it’s now time to discover ‘Sustainability 2.0’: where we have to go next. There’s been change to a certain point, but the problems continue to get worse, and even more radical shifts are called for.”
He also explains how forward-thinking business schools like Michigan Ross can play a key role in creating the necessary change.
“I tell my students that business is the most powerful institution on earth. If business isn’t developing solutions for our social and environmental problems, they will not be developed,” he says.
Andrew J. Hoffman is the Holcim (U.S.) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, Professor of Management & Organizations, and Professor of Environment & Sustainability at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and School of Environment and Sustainability.
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