The Future of Green: Business, Climate Change and Culture Wars

Andrew Hoffman – University of Michigan Ross School of Business

What does environmental sustainability mean, what will it mean, and most importantly, what will it mean for your business? These questions are increasingly critical as the topic of sustainability becomes increasingly mainstream. Today, firms produce sustainability reports, hire Chief Sustainability Officers, and incorporate sustainability strategies into their core mission. I will show you how to think of environmental issues as a competitive market shift, one not driven by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) but rather by core business considerations of operational efficiency, consumer demand, cost of capital, regulatory compliance and others. This framing will help you understand the past and present progression of the business sustainability landscape.


Professor Hoffman will show you how to envision the market shifts created by climate change, water scarcity, food security, eco-system and the like. These issues are both economic and cultural in nature. In fact, the terms "green," "sustainability" and even "climate change" have become so politicized in today's public and political discourse that they become even more challenging for the corporate executive to manage.