Erb Institute

A Right to Water – Is Water a Human Right or a Commodity?

By Allison Torres Burtka and Wren Montgomery, Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability

Is water a human right or a commodity? It’s treated like both.

As water scarcity becomes more pressing, both public and private entities have had to examine their stances on how water resources should be controlled. These issues frequently arise in the developing world, where water resources and sanitation often are inadequate—but are now arising increasingly in U.S. cities, when drinking water gets contaminated or residents can’t pay their water bills.

Activism: Help or Hindrance to Business?

Former Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability PostDoc, Jocelyn Leitzinger

Activists and industry 
For many people, the combination of activists and industry brings to mind images of protestors chanting while marching with signs and banners in front of a company’s store, headquarters or production facility. For others, it suggests the maneuverings of shareholder activists—equity stakeholders using their investments to pressure a company’s management into some form of policy change.

What it might not evoke is visions of support, cooperation or collaboration.

Erb Institute and Ross School of Business Professor, Andy Hoffman Honored with 2017 Aspen Institute "Ideas Worth Teaching Award"


Professor Andy Hoffman was honored today as a recipient of the 2017 Ideas Worth Teaching Awards for his class on Sustainable Business in Iceland offered through Global Initiatives at the Ross School of Business.

Upon receiving the award Andy Hoffman commented,

“I am truly honored to be receiving this award, both for its own sake, and also for the impressive company of other award winners.

ICYMI! - In Case You Missed It! The latest news from the Erb Institute

A New B-Annual Publication for the Business Sustainability Professional

The University of Michigan’s Erb Institute launches new bi-annual publication – ICYMI!

ICYMI! is a business-focused publication sharing the work of the Erb Institute. In this and future publications, we will share how our research, teaching and engagement are providing ideas and frameworks that will help businesses move forward in meeting their sustainability challenges. We invite you to have a look inside and see how our work is helping to move the needle on business sustainability.

Solar Desalination Technology in Coastal Regions - Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability Impact Project

Erb student Iulia Bleanda-Mogosanu talks about the genesis of the idea and her role in identifying the commercial opportunity. (Part I)

At the Erb Institute, our students collaborate with students across campus—from both other schools and other programs. By nature, they are curious and driven to make a difference in the world using their business acumen and sustainability smarts. We sat down with ‘Erber’ Iulia Bleanda-Mogosanu, who has been working on a team that is building a prototype single-stage distillation unit. This apparatus has the potential to desalinate water in coastal communities that are deteriorating because of insufficient access to fresh water.

What is Market Transformation and Why Should Business Care?

Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability
Multimedia with summary

Erb Faculty Member Andy Hoffman dives into the future of business sustainability through the lens of enterprise integration and market transformation.

The Hundred People Behind Your Favorite Pair of Jeans - Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability

By Paula Luu, MBA/MS Candidate 2019 Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability

Paula Luu is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan and pursuing a dual-degree MBA/MS between the Ross School of Business and the School for Sustainability and Environment. Paula is interested in developing and improving organization-wide processes along the supply chain.

New Erb Institute Business Sustainability Toolbox | Climate Change Strategies for Detroit Small Businesses


The Erb Institute partnered with the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative (DCAC) to produce the toolbox Climate Change Strategies for Detroit Small Businesses. This newest toolbox in the Erb Institute’s Sustainability Management Toolbox series lays out four broad climate change goals that apply to all businesses and institutions, large and small alike. In an interview with Erb Institute Managing Director Terry Nelidov, he explains how this toolbox was created and how Detroit small businesses can leverage it to create change.

Dow Joins Forces with Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability to Expand Sustainability Literacy through Online Education Series


In celebration of Earth Day, The Dow Chemical Company and the Erb Institute of University of Michigan are partnering to host the inaugural Elements of Sustainability Series, a free online education event taking place April 16-20, with webinars posted daily at 3 p.m. ET.


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