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Press release

Berlin, August 18, 2016

How companies can engage their employees to act sustainably: eight recommendations from Unilever CEO Polman and ESMT Berlin professor Bhattacharya

In a new article, published today in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, CB Bhattacharya, Professor of Marketing and Pietro Ferrero Chair in Sustainability at ESMT Berlin, and Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, show how companies can integrate sustainability in their processes and how to engage their employees to act sustainably. They find that companies have to integrate sustainability in their employees’ daily work, not only to reap financial benefits, but also to increase productivity and engagement on a long-term basis. The authors recommend the following eight strategies to integrate sustainability and involve employees in this process successfully:

  • Define the company’s long-term purpose.
  • Spell out the economic case for sustainability.
  • Create sustainability knowledge and competence.
  • Make every employee a sustainability champion.
  • Co-create sustainable practices with employees.
  • Encourage healthy competition among employees.
  • Make sustainability visible inside and outside the company.
  • Showcase higher purpose by creating transformational change.

CB Bhattacharya comments: “Most companies already recognize why the integration of sustainable management is important for both the company and its employees. Therefore we want to take the next step and demonstrate how it can be put into practice successfully.”

Link to entire article: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/engaging_employees_to_create_a_sustainable_business

About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin was founded by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, an executive MBA/MPA, a master’s in management as well as open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership and social responsibility, European competitiveness, and the management of technology. ESMT faculty publishes in top academic journals. Additionally, the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. The business school is based in Berlin, Germany, with Schloss Gracht as an additional location near Cologne. ESMT is a private business school with the right to grant PhDs and is accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA. www.esmt.org