Below are snapshots of previous SBRT meetings.
Members: please log-in to access the detailed summaries of each event.
November 14-15, 2017
On November 14 and 15 we focused on “New Paradigms of Sustainable Governance”. We discussed topics ranging from human rights, modern slavery, anti-corruption and transparency to the Sustainable Development Goals and emerging issues and trends in sustainable governance (e.g., diversity, board engagement).
Impressions from the Roundtable are available here.
Speakers included: Neil Smith, Aegon; CB Bhattacharya, ESMT Berlin; Sabine Content, GRI, Quintin Lake, Hult International Business School; Mauricio Lazala, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre; Angela McClellan, Transparency International; Linda Midgley, PwC; Roel Nieuwenkamp, OECD Working Party on Responsible Business Conduct. Yves Nissim, Orange; Lydia Simon, Covestro; Markus Strangmüller, Siemens.
April 27 -28, 2017
Sustainable Business Roundtable (SBRT) member companies and the invited guests met on April 27 and 28, 2017 at ESMT Berlin to discuss the theme of sustainable innovation.We have focused on the following issues:
Impressions from the Roundtable are available here.Speakers and moderators included Peter Lacy, Accenture Strategy; Christoph Böhm, SAP; Philippe Forestier, Dassault Systèmes; Marc van Weede, Aegon; Tamer Boyaci, ESMT Berlin; CB Bhattacharya, Center for Sustainable Business at ESMT Berlin; Florian Hoffmann, The Do School; Philipp Meister, adidas Group; Veronika Pountcheva, METRO Group; Christina Schmöe, OSRAM; Joanna Radeke, Center for Sustainable Business at ESMT Berlin; Ernesto Ciorra, Enel; Andreas Kicherer, BASF.
November 10-11, 2016
Sustainable Business Roundtable (SBRT) member companies and the invited guests met on November 10 and 11, 2016 at ESMT Berlin to discuss the topic of stakeholder engagement.
We have discussed benefits of stakeholder engagement, the ways of conducting stakeholder engagement and how to partner and collaborate with NGOs and other organizations, including competitors.
Impressions from the Roundtable available here.
Speakers included CB Bhattacharya, Center for Sustainable Business at ESMT Berlin; Bettina Mirabile, Enel; Jan-Willem Vosmeer, HEINEKEN; Sandra Schoonhoven, ING; Monika Kulik, Orange Poland; Donal Crilly, London Business School; Laura Marie Schons, University of Mannheim; Lars Lengler-Graiff, KEA Global; Sebastian Stricker, ShareTheMeal; Duncan Pollard, Nestlé; Tania Roach, WWF; Monique van Zijl, Oxfam; Tina Loeffelbein, Greenpeace; Rita Köster, BASF; Katie McCoy, CDP; Rüdiger Senft, Commerzbank AG; Neil Smith, Aegon
April 20-21, 2016
Sustainable Business Roundtable (SBRT) member companies and the invited guests met on April 21 and 22, 2016 at ESMT Berlin in Berlin to discuss the topic of impact assessment.
We have discussed reasons for conducting impact assessment, communicating its results, measuring more than outputs and outcomes and different methods and techniques, including monetizing.
Speakers included Daniela Proust, Siemens; Alexander Cox, ERM; Adriana Rejc Buhovac, University of Ljubljana; Rashila Kerai, RobecoSAM; Matt Christensen, AXA Investment Managers; Kitrhona Cerri, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Hendrik Fink, PwC; CB Bhattacharya, Center for Sustainable Business/ ESMT
November 19-20, 2015
Representatives from 26 multinational companies met on November 19 and 20, 2015 at ESMT Berlin in Berlin to discuss the topic of embedding sustainability into organizational culture. The highlights from this Sustainable Business Roundtable include:
To read more about it, please refer to the following article "It´s all about the people: Embedding sustainability into organizational culture".
Speakers included Stephen Pain, Unilever; Konstantin Korotov, ESMT; CB Bhattacharya, Center for Sustainable Business/ ESMT; Fabienne Babinsky, Accenture; José Lopez, Nestlé; Lareena Hilton, Deutsche Bank; Jo-Anne Bichard, Royal College of Art; Dietlind Freiberg, McDonald's.
April 15-16, 2015
The Sustainable Business Roundtable held its ninth meeting on April 15-16, which addressed the interface between sustainability and finance.
One of the main areas of focus was current best practice in monetizing non-financial KPIs and measuring impact. The participants explored progress in overcoming language and other barriers between sustainability and finance functions, and integrating sustainability into risk and investment evaluation systems. They also benefitted from the CFO and Group Controllers' perspectives, thanks to our esteemed guest speakers.
Speakers included Marcus Almeling, McDonald's Germany; Laurent Lanvier, Nestle; Ioannis Ioannou, London Business School; William Evison, PwC; Thomas Birnmeyer, SAP; Pier Mario Gribaudi, Holcim; Markus Strangmüller, Siemens
November 13-14, 2014
At the 8th meeting of the ESMT Sustainable Business Roundtable on November 13-14, participants discussed topics around sustainability communications and reporting, including:
• How to communicate sustainability to engage employees
• How to avoid the "self-promoter's paradox" of undermining legitimacy through communication
• How to promote a shared understanding of sustainability internally
• How to design and communicate the KPI decision‐making process
Speakers included Matthew Yeomans, Sustainly; Professor Steve Hallett, Purdue University; Professor Daniel Korschun, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University; Jeff Archambault, The Walt Disney Co. EMEA; Gary Niekerk, Intel; Dr Rodney Irwin, World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
OSRAM was warmly welcomed as a new SBRT member.
April 10 and 11, 2014
At the 7th meeting of the ESMT Sustainable Business Roundtable on April 10 and 11, participants discussed how to integrate sustainability into business strategy. A record 38 participants contributed to the discussions, which focused on the following issues, among others:
• How to coordinate sustainability strategy across different business units
• How to balance formal (policies) and informal (culture) aspects in embedding sustainability
• How to get the C-suite and investors on board
• How to manage the tension between financial and sustainability goals
• How to measure the success of sustainability strategy
Speakers included Professor Jennifer Howard‐Grenville, Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon; Dr Gerhard Prätorius, Volkswagen; Lauren Sayeski, Coca‐Cola Enterprises; Michael Polya, State Street Global Advisors; Ralf Frank, DVFA.
IBM was warmly welcomed as a new SBRT member.
November 5 and 6, 2013
The 6th meeting of the ESMT Sustainable Business Roundtable on November 5 and 6 addressed the integration sustainability into investor relations. Representatives of 17 companies came together to discuss issues such as
• Does integrated reporting help the cause of sustainability?
• Which sustainability criteria (KPIs) do investors care about?
• How has the popularity of socially responsible investing affected companies’ investor relations and sustainability strategies?
The participants benefited from insights into investor thinking from keynote speaker Susana Penarrubia, (Deutsche Bank Asset & Wealth Management) and research from Professor Shuili Du (University of New Hampshire). Following a best practice example from Alexander Holst (Accenture), participants had time to discuss issues in investor relations for individual companies and in an industry context. Bombardier, Fragomen Global LLP, HP and KBC were all welcomed as new SBRT members.
April 18 and 19, 2013
At the 5th meeting of the ESMT Sustainable Business Roundtable on April 18 and 19, participants discussed how to integrate sustainability into procurement and supply chains. Representatives of 18 companies took part in the discussions. The program included insights into sustainability measures at Philips from Jan-Willem Scheijgrond and at McDonald’s from Heike Bierweiler and Diana Wilz. Professor Vishal Agrawal from Georgetown University gave an academic perspective on the topic and Carsten Schmitz-Hoffmann from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) provided insights from the ground. As always, the program was rounded off with plenty of opportunity for debate in panel discussions, breakout groups and industry groups.
Some of the key discussions over the two days focused on the issues:
• How to shift the balance from viewing sustainability in risk terms to viewing it as an opportunity
• How to manage relationships with suppliers and increase supply chain transparency
• How to communicate the importance of good supplier performance internally
• How to develop a cross-industry perspective and improve cooperation
The Walt Disney Co. EMEA was warmly welcomed as a new SBRT member.
November 13 and 14, 2012
The 4th meeting of the ESMT SBRT focused on opportunities and challenges of integrating sustainability into innovation strategy. For one and a half days, the representatives of the 15 companies delved into the topic of innovation and sustainabiltiy. A workshop on successful integration of sustainability into innovation led by Christoph Burger and Prof. CB Bhattacharya (both ESMT Berlin) brought new insights right in the beginning.
The following day, Martin Hintz (Allianz) introduced participants to microinsurance at Allianz ("Innovating through doing good - the example of microinsurance at Allianz"). A second best practice example was provided by Anne Roulin (Nestlé) who focused on "Environmental sustainability in the context of the food value chain - the role of innovation".
During breakout sessions, participants focused on three different business areas where sustainability can be incorporated. The attendees discussed challenges and opportunities in integrating sustainability into
Group findings were summarized by Prof. Francis Bidault (ESMT Berlin), while Melissa Pailthorp (Microsoft) led the discussion on how insights will be implemented.
Coca-Cola Enterprises was welcomed as the newest member of the SBRT.
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April 26 and 27, 2012
In the 3rd meeting of the ESMT Sustainable Business Roundtable, participants from 16 companies discussed the role of sustainability in shaping a company’s brand and marketing strategy. The focus in particular was the opportunities and challenges present in such an integration. Most of the participating companies were represented by a corporate responsibility/sustainability manager as well as by a colleague from the marketing and communications department.
The keynote address was given by Gail Klintworth (Unilever), who introduced participants to sustainability and marketing at Unilever. The academic perspective was provided by Prof. N. Craig Smith (INSEAD), where he familiarized attendees with the halo-effect. Finally, BASF’s sustainability, eco-efficiency, and traceability (S.E.T.) initiative was the topic of Dr. Christoph Günther’s (BASF) presentation.
During breakout sessions, participants dealt with the following topics that were later summarized by Prof. Sumitro Banerjee (ESMT Berlin):
Dr. Daniel Dirks (Allianz) led the discussion on how insights can be implemented.
Among the new member companies were Intel and UniCredit.
November 14 and 15, 2011
Participants from 12 companies addressed their current challenges in relation to corporate responsibility (CR) and HR. Several touched on the connection between sustainability and change management.
After Prof. CB Bhattacharya (ESMT Berlin) provided insights on using CR to win the war for talent, Dr. Achim Wolter and Daniela Otten (Siemens) presented best practice examples from Siemens.
During breakout sessions, groups actively discussed challenges specific to their organizations and situations. The following three topics were discussed and brought together in a panel, moderated by Prof. Laura Guillén (ESMT Berlin):
Discussion leader Erik Brandsma (Vattenfall) rounded the day off with a group plenum on mainstreaming these CR insights.
Prof. Bhattacharya welcomed the new member companies among which were Fraport, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and PwC.
July 6, 2011
ESMT Berlin professor CB Bhattacharya hosted the first meeting of his initiative, the SBRT. After introductions by Prof. Bhattacharya and by ESMT Berlin president Prof. Röller, Bruno Berthon (Accenture Sustainability Services) provided key insights from Accenture’s research on sustainability.
The SBRT was inaugurated with the high-level panel discussion “Where sustainability meets profits: is there a sweet spot”, moderated by Manuela Kasper-Claridge of Deutsche Welle.
The panelists Levin Zhu (President and CEO of China International Capital Corporation), Joachim Faber (CEO, Allianz Global Investors), Klaus-Dieter Maubach (Member of the Management Board, E.ON), Gabi Zedlmayer (Vice President, Global Social Innovation, HP), and Florian Sommer (Senior Strategist, Union Investment) discussed issues surrounding sustainable business and global investment.
With the support of Accenture, Allianz, BASF, E.ON, Deutsche Telekom, MAN, and Siemens the SBRT was a success. AEGON, Nestlé, and Vattenfall were also present at the SBRT.
Use the SBRT online platform to access all SBRT documents and to join the discussions between our biannual meetings!