university of michigan

Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability Andy Hoffman and Dow CSO, Neil Hawkins Discuss Dow Sustainability Fellows Program – Featured in Corporate Eco Forum

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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

VIDEO: Andy Hoffman, Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability on Profit, Regs, and Rep: Why Companies Reduce Their Footprint

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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!

A Business Sustainability Framework for Understanding Water Stewardship through Shared Value

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While many companies are already engaging with climate change and an array of other environmental issues, water is quickly emerging as an impactful driver of both business risk and opportunity in the 21st century. Water is a critical input for many supply chains, providing energy and both direct and indirect materials for production as well as giving life to essential natural resources beyond the company gates.

Navigating Troubled Waters: A Primer for Managers on Water Challenges and Opportunities

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Dr. Montgomery currently holds a Visiting Research Scholar position at the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability.  She is also cross-appointed at the University of Windsor’s Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER). Her research focuses on emerging pressures on water resources and institutions, specifically tensions over public versus private management of municipal water services and the impact of the UN’s recognition of a human right to water.
 

A Seemingly Symbolic Activist Action Actually Shifted the Climate Change Debate

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New study by Erb Institute faculty, Andy Hoffman and former Erb Postdoc Todd Schifeling shows McKibben's fossil fuel divestment effort to have positive, if unexpected results.

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.

Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability - Why You Need Both a Picture and a Thousand Words

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To be heard in many public debates, you may need more than the proverbial picture that’s worth a thousand words—you may need both a picture and a thousand words.

Language choice
Labels and metaphors are powerful. Well-chosen ones evoke positive imagery, emotions and values, while poorly chosen ones can be disastrous. For example, “global warming” is a much more divisive term than “climate change.”

As Long as Climate Change Does Not Touch the Rich, Nothing Will Change, Says Andrew J. Hoffman

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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.

Corporate Sustainability Insights from Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability's Strategic Advisory Member, Neil Hawkins

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“It’s extremely important to have a few goals that will lead a company to have a truly positive impact, but also to stick to those goals and align everyone around them,” he says. “These are hugely important for culture, identity, recruiting and retention. They need to be simple and easy to understand, helping the company to stay focused… It’s about constancy of purpose; you want to instill this into the culture.” It starts on the inside, and without engrained commitment, alignment and clarity (Purpose), Performance and Participation will be lacking.

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