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ABIS GlobalEventsUniversity of Edinburgh Business School: Building a…

University of Edinburgh Business School: Building a Sustainable Business

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
University of Edinburgh Business School , United Kingdom


  • Dr Kenneth Amaeshi, Reader in Strategy & International Business and Director of University of Edinburgh Business School Sustainable Business Initiative, University of Edinburgh
  • Prof. Brad MacKay, Chair of Strategic Management, University of Edinburgh
  • Mrs Caroline Marchant, Early Career Fellow in Marketing, University of Edinburgh


The drive for sustainable development and corporate sustainability is reshaping the economic landscape, attracting regulatory attention, and creating new business opportunities.

Globally, organisations are faced with ever increasing expectations in meeting the world’s environmental and social challenges. They are also expected to balance many, sometimes conflicting, demands and pressures across different stakeholder groups. Developing a sustainable strategy requires robust decision making to balance economic, environmental and social consideration.

This masterclass will help participants integrate sustainability into their organisations and create responsible business practices across cultures and borders. It will feature a mix of interactive discussions, guest lectures, practical exercises and site visits to sustainable businesses.

Course Outline

Day 1

  • ValuesA reflective session on the values that underpin our attitudes and behaviours in approaching the sustainability agenda as well as development of strategies and initiatives. It will explore mental models of thinking about sustainability to reveal preconceptions and misconceptions that are ingrained in business.
  • An Introduction to the Circular EconomyA new model grounded in the study of the most efficient and successful living systems on the planet. The session places circular economy principles in relevant practical contexts to show how an organisation can achieve the efficiency.
  • Sustainability StrategiesIdentify some of the major trends and issues organisations face in conceptualising and implementing sustainability. Understand how sustainability can be better perceived, understood and implemented.
  • Carbon MarketsExplore the increasing relevance and role of carbon markets and their influence on business. Innovative climate change opportunities in emerging markets will also be considered.
  • Action Planning Part OneThis workshop provides the opportunity to start considering how participants can progress their organisation and will be followed up by Part Two on Day Three.
  • City Tour and Formal DinnerA city tour to experience Edinburgh followed by a formal networking dinner.

Day 2

  • Excursion to Whitelee WindfarmVisit the UK's largest onshore windfarm. Discover a practical application of responsible investment and find out how long-term, sustainable investment is not only profitable, but has greater benefits while presenting less risk. Participants will enjoy a sandwich lunch and explore case studies at Whitelee’s visitor centre.
  • Panel Session on the Investment, Strategy and LeadershipReflect on the day’s excursion (above) with an interactive panel discussion and networking session about how UK sustainability innovation, policy and practices can be adapted to different industries and geographical contexts. The panel will comprise of key industry leaders in the field.

    The main topics for discussion will include:
    • Sustainable and "Green" Innovation
    • Sustainability Policy and Practices
    • Monitoring and Reporting
    • Sustainable Business Strategies
    • Leading for Sustainability

Day 3

  • Strategic LeadershipExamine a range of tools and techniques designed to aid in developing a strategic plan to implement sustainable changes and values into your organisation.
  • Banking ValuesAn expert from the Global Alliance for Banking on Values will share experience and insights into leading trends relating to impact assessment and new approaches adopted by international banking institutions
  • Communicating Sustainability StrategyThis interactive session will explore effective techniques for communicating with stakeholders about sustainability. Using case studies of successful sustainability communication strategies, learn how to take into consideration the competing interests and motives of the stakeholders in your internal and external communications.
  • Action Planning Part TwoReflection on things learnt across all sessions and consider the role of leadership, the role of business in society and how this relates to a company’s accountability and performance. This session ends by developing a personal assisted leadership plan.


Find out more here.

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