In December, the University of Michigan's Andy Hoffman led a panel at Amherst’s Institute for Social Science Research, promising to be “provocative in order to push scientists outside of their comfort zones, and scientific institutions into faster change.” Hoffman, who earned his BA in chemical engineering from UMass Amherst and his PhD in management/civil & environmental engineering from MIT, quickly delivered on that promise, with a review of studies on the “abysmal state” of public perceptions of science.
In the below video and original article shared in Corporate Eco Forum, Hoffman and Hawkins talk about the unique partnership between Dow and the University of Michigan and how the interdisciplinary component sets it apart from other university-corporate partnerships. Its success in breaking down academic silos is a major reason for why Dow has opted to extend its commitment through 2020. “As the program continues to evolve, it serves as a model for how interdisciplinary education and academic communities can work together with corporatio
Professor Andy Hoffman faculty at the University of Michigan's Erb Institute for Sustainability in Business, shares his research on "Profit, Regs, and Rep: Why Companies Reduce Their Footprint." This research is especially relevant today in the midst of COP23 where U.S. businesses are operating in the absence of federal regulation mandating compliance in carbon reductions. So, why are businesses reducing their carbon footprint? The business case!
Do hybrid organizations structures allow for improved corporate sustainability?
There has been increasing discussion of the need to "reconceptualize firms and their objectives and to create business models that actively address ecological and social issues while remaining economically viable (Harding, 2004; Thompson & Doherty, 2006). These models have been termed blended value (Miller, Dawans, & Alter, 2009) or shared value and seek to create “economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges” (Porter & Kramer, 2011: 4)"
On the face of it, Bill McKibben’s effort through 350.org to have universities divest fossil fuel assets had limited success. Only a handful of institutions pledged to divest and it didn’t affect the stocks of fossil fuel companies.
Should we focus on persuading the deniers...? Without any thoughts I will tell you that on the table. Do not waste time with people who have already formed their opinion and are unwilling to withdraw from their position. We should concentrate on those people who are not sure, but willing to listen to your views.
“Typically, if you really want to mobilize people to act, you don’t scare the hell out of them and convince them that the situation is hopeless,” said Andrew Hoffman, professor of management and organizations, and environment and sustainability, commenting on the way climate change is often depicted in Hollywood movies.”