Past Events

February 21, 2023 | 3:00 - 4:00 | Building a Circular Manufacturing Economy | Decarbonize Middle America Strategy Primer

This virtual event included a discussion about what has gone well and what support is needed in our effort to create a circular economy in Appalachia. Moderated by Dr. Patricia DeMarco our panelists included: David Landis, John Holm, Steven Laich, and Joanne Martin. We Discussed: 

  • What is a Circular Economy and how it relates to Business, Policy, and Grassroots Action.  
  • How we can transition to a Resue, Repair, Recycle, Return to the production system model.   
  • What works well and where support could be most impactful going forward.   


November 23, 2022 12:00 – 12:55 PM | Virtual ESG Strategy Lunch and Learn: The Metrics Needed to for Accessing Progress on Decarbonization

A discussion with academic experts and industry leaders on our ESG Rosetta Stone workstream, including informative presentations, engaging panel discussions, and a Q&A portion with audience members. 

This virtual event covered the metrics needed in order to assess strategies toward a just decarbonization transition. Two years since the launch of the Marshall Plan for Middle America, how do we decide what is working and what is not? How do we measure the effectiveness of change?

Panelists unpacked the metrics available today and where they fall short for the insights that market leaders need reasoning behind the reporting standards and work through the frameworks necessary for all functions to future-proof the businesses. 

Keynote by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Professor at Columbia University & President at U.N. SDSN

Panelists Included:

  • Vanessa Miler-Fels, Vice President, Schneider Electric
  • Caroline Narich, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Couldn't make it?

November 17, 2022 | Sustainability: Circular, Regenerative, & Just Economies Virtual Training

Hearing a lot of acronyms about investments and the economy, but wondering what CSR, ESG, and SRI really mean? This workshop provided foundational knowledge on sustainable business practices. Facilitated by CSB Senior Associate Director Chris Gassman, the Sustainability: Circular, Regenerative, & Just Economies Virtual Training session was co-hosted by the Center for Sustainable Business and offered to Pitt Staff as part of the staff professional development certificate in sustainability. 

Participants learned about sustainable purchasing, supply chain management, the circular economy, and best business practices that create positive social and environmental outcomes. This workshop gave participants the tools to tap into the wealth of Pitt resources (e.g., Center for Sustainable Business) to become more responsible consumers and help create and support regenerative and just economies. Stay tuned for similar events hosted by the Center for Sustainable Business. 

October 20, 2022 | CSB Anniversary Celebration

Guests at the Center for Sustainable Business 3rd Anniversary Celebration at Alumni Hall

The Center for Sustainable Business celebrated its 3rd anniversary since launching in 2019! This sustainable celebration took place at Alumni Hall (a Livestream was also available) and featured a guest panel, keynote speaker, and an evening networking reception.

October 19 - 20, 2022 | Sustainable Business Forum | Supply Chains: Clean, Circular, Regenerative

Flyer for the Fall 2022 Sustainable Business Forum hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business on Oct 19 - 20, 2022

Addressing the need for clean, circular, and regenerative supply chains, the Center for Sustainable Business (CSB) provided a platform for selected invited guests to discuss the challenges and opportunities regarding this year’s theme, “Supply Chains: Clean, Circular, Regenerative.” Industry leaders and academic experts came together to share sustainable business best practices and cutting-edge insights.

October 7, 2022 | Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities Odyssey Day

Chris Gassman and the Chevy Bolt electric vehicle at an electric charging station

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities hosted Odyssey Day, an outreach and education event dedicated to promoting the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It was coordinated by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) headquartered at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Center Senior Associate Director Chris Gassman was in attendance with his Chevy Bolt EV.

September 21 - 23, 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum

The U.S. hosted the first-ever Global Clean Energy Action Forum, a joint convening of the 13th Clean Energy Ministerial and the 7th Mission Innovation ministerial. Governments, international organizations, the private sector, academia, innovators, civil society, and early career researchers and policymakers came together for a three-day event that featured high-level plenaries, topical roundtables with energy and science ministers from 31 countries, CEOs, and experts, side events, technology demonstrations, and other activities. Learn more.

September 22, 2022 | Zero Carbon Resources & Appalachia's Sustainable Finance Hub (part of GCEAF 2022)

Nowhere could be more fitting for the 2022 GCEAF than Pittsburgh, the storied heart of America’s industrial past and a springboard for the nation’s energy future. CSB Senior Associate Director Chris Gassman moderated an official side event, "Zero Carbon Resources and Appalachia's Sustainable Finance Hub" on Thursday, September 22 from 3 - 4 PM in Room 414 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

September 14, 2022 | Workforce 100% Strategy Primer 

Poster for the Workforce 100% Strategy Primer held by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business on September 14, 2022

Attendees learned about the wicked problems facing the workforce today and how they can take actionable steps to facilitate a more fair workplace and ensure all employees are set up to succeed.

Expert panelists built upon the Workforce 100% Kickoff event where speakers highlighted the challenge of workplace equity in everything from compensation to well-being, noting a large gap between leader/manager perceptions of workplace fairness compared to that experienced by their employees. We addressed the following questions (and more):

This conversation built on topics from past Sustainable Business Forums: "Integrating Corporate Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" and “The Great Reshuffle and the Worker of the Future Today.” 

The discussion was most relevant to:  

  1. Human Resources professionals looking for action steps 
  2. Managers in finance, risk management, operations, supply chain, and more 
  3. Business leaders looking to improve employee retention and well-being 

Event panelists included:

Carrie Leana, George H. Love Professor of Organizations and Management at the University of Pittsburgh

Carrie Leana is the George H. Love Professor of Organizations and Management at the University of Pittsburgh where she holds appointments in the Katz Graduate School of Business, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and the Learning Research and Development Center. She is also the Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Healthcare Management and serves on the Board of Directors of the Aging Institute. She has published two books and more than 100 papers on such topics as economic inequality, authority structures at work, employment relations, and human and social capital development. Her research is field-based and has been conducted in such settings as steel mills, public schools, insurance firms, aerospace contractors, police departments, childcare centers, and nursing homes.

Derrick Shoffner, Senior Director of Programs & Services at Vibrant Pittsburgh

As an innovator, Derrick is excited to continue to deliver innovative programs that will positively affect the Western Pennsylvania region and further position Vibrant Pittsburgh as an industry leader. For the past three years, Derrick has played a pivotal role in creating and fostering environments where all are seen, respected, and valued in the local health and wellness community. This work has granted Derrick opportunities to work with many prominent local and national organizations such as Brooks Running, Running USA, the Outdoor Inclusion Coalition, and many more. Through these contributions, Derrick has garnered awards such as Pittsburgh Business Times 30 Under 30 and GetInvolved! Inc. Male Emerging Leader of the Year. 

Erin Hutson, Director at the LIUNA Corporate Affairs Department

Erin Hutson is the Director at the LIUNA Corporate Affairs Department where she focuses on infrastructure and real estate investments made by LIUNA’s more than 80 multi-employer pension funds with a combined value of $45 billion. LIUNA—the Laborers’ International Union of North America—is the most progressive, aggressive, and fastest-growing union of construction workers, and one of the most diverse and effective unions representing public service employees.

This event was held virtually on zoom and will be revisited again in the future.

August 30, 2022 | Katz - Center for Sustainable Business Information Session

The CSB Team held an information session about how students can get involved with the Center and the many fellowships, internships, and research projects that we have to create an impact in organizations. If you weren't able to attend, please reach out to us at about your interests and for more information on these opportunities.

July 25 - 28, 2022 | 2022 Diversity Forum "Rewiring Our Systems: Transforming the Intersections of Inequity"

Pitt Diversity Forum 2022

The forum featured a dynamic array of keynote programs and community-led sessions aimed at developing social equity consciousness and systems thinking approaches. The forum was free and open to the public. One of the featured presentations “After Redlining: Overcoming Unjust Impacts and Building Equitable Futures” discussed how historic redlining is still negatively impacting neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and across the U.S. including green space access, food security, socioeconomics, and educational opportunities. Attendees learned what is being done to address the historical ramifications of redlining and how each of us can help uplift communities to develop just cities.

June 9, 2022 | Sustainability: Circular, Regenerative, and Just Economies (Faculty & Staff Development Program): What do CSR, ESG, and SRI really mean? This workshop provided foundational knowledge on sustainable business practices, sustainable purchasing, supply chain management, the circular economy, and best business practices that create positive social and environmental outcomes. Participants also received the tools to tap into the wealth of Pitt resources (like the CSB) to become more responsible consumers and help create and support regenerative and just economies. Associate Director Chris Gassman and Jennifer Barnes from Pitt Sustainability presented. Learn more about the event here.

June 7, 2022 | Transformative Leadership and the Just Energy Transition WebinarFrancesco Starace, CEO of Enel, and Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy for the Transformative Leadership came together for the Just Energy Transition webinar. Francesco Starace, one of our founding Strategic Advisory Board members who was recently succeeded by Enrico Viale, shared his perspective on the transformative leadership that it takes to drive energy access and impact at scale. 

May 25-26, 2022 | Penn State Energy Days 

PSU Energy Days virtual and in person conference

Attendees learned how the Marshall Plan for Middle America came together, why it was created, and what it can teach us about the potential for actors across the region to cooperate in the pursuit of energy and climate solutions at Penn State University's Institutes of Energy and the Environment Energy Days. Leslie Marshall, Director at the SFPE Foundation shared the example of MP4MA - a project she spearheaded while here at the CSB – to describe how energy and infrastructure transition can bring together diverse (if seemingly unlikely) stakeholders from industry, finance, labor, academia, government, and community organizations around shared interests in economic development and regional prosperity. Center Associate Director Chris Gassman was on hand for the in-person discussions. Learn more here.

Poster for the Pittsburgh Earth Day Sustainable Business Breakfast on April 29, 2022
Pittsburgh's top leaders in corporate and community sustainability gathered at the Fairmont Pittsburgh to discuss what it takes to implement sustainable practices and how to connect to global sustainability goals. Local business leaders spoke about ways, both large and small, that they are transforming their companies and communities into shining examples of sustainability — and ways in which they hope to improve. Center Associate Director Chris Gassman joined the conversation as a distinguished panelist. This annual networking event was free to attend. Watch the recording here.

April 21, 2022 | Virtual Decarbonize Middle America Strategy Lunch and Learn: Drawdown Opportunities and the SEC

Poster for the virtual Decarbonize Middle America strategy lunch and learn hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business on April 21, 2022.
Learn more about the Security and Exchange Commission’s recent announcement and the steps carbon-intense industries as well as smaller businesses are exploring to manage the financial risks posed by climate change. Panelists unpacked the why behind the rules and worked through the necessary frameworks to future-proof businesses.  Attendees brought a question or topic, shared perspectives, and tapped into peers’ collective knowledge while networking and taking part in a lively discussion. Part of a series of lunch and learn events.
Keynote by Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets. Panelists included Julian Kraus-Polk, Senior Associate at Drawdown Labs at Project Drawdown, Sheryle Gillihan, CEO at CauseLabs, and Gregory Houchins, CEO at Chement. The discussion is most relevant to investor, strategy, operations, sustainability, and product leaders, journalists interested in reporting on climate strategy, small to medium businesses impacted by the need to disclose climate information, employees interested in drawdown at work, faculty and students.
Watch the full recording here, learn more about the SEC update here, and learn more about the IPCC report here.

April 20, 2022 | Renewable Natural Gas Webinar


Poster for the renewable natural gas webinar on 4/20 hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business and Carnegie Mellon University Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

This virtual event was co-hosted by the Carnegie Mellon University Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Industry leaders and academia experts came together for a moderated energy panel on renewable natural gas. Panelists included Marc Fetten, CEO of GreenGasUSA, Sharon Frank, VP of Environmental, Health & Safety, Montauk Renewables, Inc., Sam Lehr, Policy Manager at The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, Götz Veser, Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, and Larry Frederick, PTAC SC. Guest Speakers and Moderators included Anna J Siefken, LEED AP, and Executive Director at the CMU Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and Chris Gassman, Associate Director at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business. Watch the full recording here.

April 16, 2022 | Pittsburgh Climate Hackathon

Poster for the Pittsburgh Climate Hackathon held by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business on Saturday, April 16, 2022.

Students and industry professionals came together to address climate-related issues and jointly create ideas to positively impact people’s lives in Southwest PA. Learn more here.

April 6, 2022 | Careers in Environment and Sustainability: Virtual Panel & Networking

Poster for the Careers in Environment and Sustainability event hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Career Center.

The University of Pittsburgh Career Center hosted a virtual “Careers in Environment and Sustainability” networking event on April 6th, 2022. Students connected with professionals (including Center for Sustainable Business Associate Director Chris Gassman) and gained exposure to the various roles and opportunities within sustainability. Students, Pitt Alumni, and industry professionals gathered for a virtual night of networking, sharing real-world experiences, and insights on career advice. Attendees were also exposed to several environmental and sustainability internship opportunities available within the companies and organizations represented by other guests.

Poster for the Financial Literacy Symposium held by the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday April 6, 2022

We celebrated Financial Literacy Month with the Financial Wellness Program. Attendees increased their financial knowledge through talks to improve their financial awareness and well-being. Our day began with the keynote session, "Thinking Your Way to Wealth" with Orlando Houston, Financial Consultant with Equitable Advisors, LLC. Also on our agenda were breakout sessions, "Creating your Financial Foundation" with PNC Bank, and "Cryptocurrency for the Confused" with Dr. Chris Wilmer, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. 

April 5, 2022 | Financial Literacy Symposium: Virtual Event

Poster for the virtual financial literacy symposium held by the University of Pittsburgh on April 5, 2022

The Financial Wellness Program was part of the Financial Literacy Month celebrations at the University of Pittsburgh. Attendees increased their financial knowledge through talks to help improve their financial awareness and well-being. We began our virtual event with the keynote session, "Thinking Your Way to Wealth with Orlando Houston, Financial Consultant with Equitable Advisors, LLC. Afterward, guests chose from breakout sessions "Basics of Portfolio Planning: Managing Climate & Environmental, Social, Governance Risk in your Portfolio" with Trina Brown, Financial Advisor with Allegheny Financial Group, "Cryptocurrency for the Confused" with Dr. Chris Wilmer, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, "Funding the World you want to Retire into with Thematic, Impact, and/or Socially Responsible Investing," with Jim Rambo, Financial Advisor with Allegheny Financial Group, and "Pay Yourself First - The Basics of Investing," with Joseph Carpenter, Financial Advisor with Carpenter Financial Services. This virtual event was held over Zoom.

March 23 - 24, 2022 | Sustainable Business Forum

Poster for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business Spring 2022 Sustainable Business Forum

Based on requests from Members, this Spring’s Forum focused on the Great Resignation and the Worker of the Future.  This was an engaging opportunity to share best practices from experience and learn from cutting-edge insights.

March 23, 2022 | CSB Solution Saloon with Paul Polman

Poster for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Sustainable Business Solution Saloon with Paul Polman

An exclusive event for C-Suite executives from CSB member companies, the CSB Solution Saloon was an opportunity for these executives to hear from Strategic Advisory Council member Paul Polman, who was described by the Financial Times as the "a standout CEO of the past decade." Paul shared insights from his experiences as CEO of Unilever from 2009 - 2019 and as a member of several high-level UN and civil society initiatives, in addition to key takeaways from his new book "Net Positive." Paul's presentation was followed by a Q&A session and a peer discussion among attendees led by CSB Director Professor CB Bhattacharya. Watch the recording here.

February 9, 2022 | ESG Rosetta Stone Strategy Primer

In February 2022, the CSB held its first in a series of strategy primers on our workstreams, with the first focusing on our ESG Rosetta Stone workstream and the wicked problems impeding ESG literacy for a range of stakeholders including investors, business leaders, employees and consumers. The session started with a presentation from Dane Christensen, Associate Professor at University of Oregon, on some research he and his colleagues have done that shows that higher levels of ESG disclosure actually lead to higher levels of disagreement amongst investors about companies’ ESG performance. This was followed by a discussion amongst the panelists and audience on more specific challenges, including how to build ESG literacy for stakeholders through upskilling and training, how to improve internal data collection processes in companies to streamline ESG reporting and enable better decision-making using this data, and how to translate key ESG performance indicators into something that consumers and investors can understand.

Panelists included:  Dane Christensen, Associate Professor, University of Oregon; Michael Hughes, Senior Manager, Sustainability Services & UN Programs Lead, Accenture; Kevin O'Connell, ESG Trust Solutions Practice and Global Asset & Wealth Management ESG Leader, PwC; Nina Panda, Sustainability Strategy & External Engagement, 3M; and Amy Senter, North America Director for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Watch here >>

January 11, 2022 | Circular Economy Simulation

This training, a part of the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Professional Development week, featured a circular economy simulation facilitated by Inchainge that taught students how to accelerate in their dream jobs across business functions (Ops, Finance, Strategy, etc.) using Circular Economy thinking. The event was co-hosted by the Katz Corporate Sustainability Club and the CSB.

Watch here >>

November 17, 2021 | Workforce 100% Kickoff

With this webinar, we officially kicked off our Workforce 100% workstream. Participants heard from a panel of industry experts on the wicked problems impeding progress on decent work for all. A range of topics were discussed, including how to create more transparency in companies on modern slavery in their supply chains, how to create fairer workplaces, and how to more clearly define metrics on what constitutes decent work for all.

Panelists included:  Valerie Karplus, Associate Professor, Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University; Jessica Westerouen van Meeteren, Chief Commercial Officer at slavefreetrade; Monalisa Prasad, National Director of Sustainability, Chartwells; and Tony Bond, EVP and Chief Innovation Officer, Great Place to Work®.

Watch here >>

November 11, 2021 | Clean Tech Townhall

An open conversation with the Innovation Institute, Center for Sustainable Business, and entrepreneurial companies accelerating the just transition to a clean and circular economy.

Watch here >>

October 19, 2021 | LinkedIn Live Event on Building Sustainable Business Models with ESG

Center Director CB Bhattacharya joined Elena Morettini, Director of Globant’s Sustainable Business Studio, and Edelman U.S. CEO Lisa Osborne Ross for a conversation about how business leaders are incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into their business strategies in our increasingly purpose-driven society.

Watch here >>

October 13, 2021 | Innovate4Cities Conference

Center Associate Director Chris Gassman moderated an event on three inspiring stories on governance innovation in the energy sector, a just transition to a circular and clean economy, and a climate change civic engagement toolkit as part of the Innovate4Cities virtual conference, co-hosted by the IPCC. The primary goal of the conference was to bring together city leaders, scientists, researchers, innovators, academics, youth, and business leaders to catalyze engagement, new partnerships and initiatives between scientists and practitioners and to focus on regional priorities for climate action in cities, and innovative solutions and approaches.

Watch here >>

October 5, 2021 | Marshall Plan for Middle America (MP4MA) Kick-Off Summit

Center Associate Director Chris Gassman facilitated a thematic breakout on carbon transformation and climatetech as part of the MP4MA Kick-Off Summit. MP4MA maps out a vision for an equitable economic recovery in the Upper Appalachia/Ohio River Valley region, while laying the foundation for a robust renewable energy sector. This plan has been spearheaded by Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, in partnership with nine key cities across four states in the region. The Summit was led by the City of Pittsburgh and Resilient Cities Catalyst, bringing a new approach to activating these opportunities.

October 1, 2021 | Odyssey Day 2021

Center Associate Director Chris Gassman, as well as member companies Ingevity and Peoples, participated in this event that was hosted by Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities. Odyssey Day is an outreach and education event dedicated to promoting the use of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. It is coordinated by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC) headquartered at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Watch a summary video of the event here >>

September 21, 2021 | Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Task Force on ESG Event

Center Director CB Bhattacharya spoke at this event from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) on ESG measurement and disclosure.

September 16, 2021 | Decarbonize Middle America Kickoff

With this webinar, we officially kicked off our Decarbonize Middle America workstream. Over 50 participants joined to hear from a panel of industry experts on the wicked problems impeding the just transition to a clean and circular economy. A range of topics were discussed, including the needed technological innovations to accelerate decarbonization, how to make sure no one is left behind in the transition to a decarbonized future, and how to align investment and government policy with this transition.

Panelists included:  Julia Silberman, CDP; Jacquie Fidler, CONSOL Energy; Jeff Nehr, Peoples Natural Gas; Michael Benedict Yamoah, Federated Hermes International; and Suzanne Leta, SunPower.

Watch here >>

September 13, 2021 | Center for Sustainable Business Reception: Katz fireside networking in sustaining sustainability.

June 4th, 2021 | Sustainable Business Breakfast

Pittsburgh Earth Day 2021: Earth Day. Everyday. 

Pittsburgh Earth Day is a citywide celebration of advancements made in sustainability, technology, and innovation where people live, work and play. With exciting activities held in venues throughout the city of Pittsburgh. This year’s discussion was moderated by City of Pittsburgh Chief Resilience Officer, Grant Ervin and Chief Corporate Relations Officer for the Allegheny Conference, Bill Flanagan. Topics range from both large and small, how these leaders are transforming their companies and communities into shining examples of sustainability — and ways in which they hope to improve. Listen to this year’s panelists Elizabeth Cook, General Manager, Advanced Grid Solutions, Duquesne Light Company; Justine Russo, Director of Sustainability and Business Intelligence, PITT OHIO; Greg Winks co-founder of Solbridge Energy Advisors; Dr. Robert Sroufe, Duquesne University, MBA-Sustainable Business Practices and Palumbo-Donahue Graduate School of Business; CB Bhattacharya, Zoffer Chair of Sustainability and Ethics, Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, and more.

Watch here >>

April 29, 2021The challenges and opportunities for implementing the Marshall Plan for Middle America (MP4MA) Roadmap

There is an overarching global reality and global challenge of climate crisis  which is very deep. World leaders have committed to net zero carbon emission by mid century. So together we are moving towards a world with not just better planet but a better life. It gives us a chance to implement new technologies that will create new jobs, better air quality and higher quality of life in a safer environment.  This can only be achievable when there is three way alliance among government, business and academia.

Watch here >> 

April 22 ,2021 | The Impact of Climate Innovation on the Road to Net Zero

On recognition of this Earth Day, a kickoff session of resiliency series by President and CEO of World Council of Pittsburgh, Betty Cruz and cohosted by H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability and Ethics at the Katz Graduate School of Business, CB Bhattacharya representing Center for Sustainable Business at University of Pittsburgh. This series explore how local, national and international government, institutions and individuals are working to increase resiliency as it relates to the economy, health and climate action. Listen to keynote speaker Dr. Jeffrey Sachs talk about the Net Zero Initiative  to transform US into world's clean energy economy by Biden Administration.

Watch here >>

April 7-8, 2021Spring Sustainable Business Forum

"Integrating Corporate Sustainability and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"

This year's Spring 2021 Sustainable Business Forum featured Dr Audrey J. Murrel, Professor of Business Administration, Psychology, Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Business as Academic keynote speaker and Edelman’s U.S. Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Osborne Ross as Industry keynote speaker on sustainability and DE&I and how they are inextricably linked.


February 16, 2021 | Green Speakeasy
"Asia – the Planet's Battleground for Climate Change" with Divya Nawale

One of Asia's top 20 Sustainability Women of 2020, Divya Nawale (GSPIPA '16) currently works with the Asian Development Bank on clean energy and energy programs across Southeast Asia. She also serves as an advisor for the non-profit Nirmaan back home in India where she has launched a climate action program that envisions engaging 10 million people in the coming decade.

Divya talked about her journey from GSPIA to the Arctic and the Antarctic, and back to the tropics of Asia, and her experiences of how the battleground of Asia is fighting climate change while embracing sustainable development.

January 14, 2021 | The Environmental Justice Symposium
"Mayoral Panel on the Marshall Plan for Middle America"

“How do we build a more just and sustainable world?” GBBN Architects will be convening grassroots leaders, city sustainability officials, and mission-driven developers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh – including Mayors Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh and John Cranley of Cincinnati – to discuss this question. This panel discussion on the Marshall Plan for Middle America featured CSB Associate Director Leslie Marshall.

Watch the Mayoral Panel »

December 3, 2020 | Redefining Global Learning
"Building a Green Economy: How Britain and the Ohio Valley Region are Rethinking Sustainable Development"

​A talk by Fred Brown (The Forbes Funds), Leslie Marshall (Center for Sustainable Business), and Hannah Young (British Consulate General New York) about how Britain and the Ohio Valley Region are rethinking sustainable development.

October 29, 2020 | Amplifying Black Voices for a Sustainable Economic Future

This moderated panel of local Black business-owners and sustainability professionals discussed (1) the linkages (or lack thereof) between racial justice and sustainability strategy in business settings; (2) what it means to identify as a sustainability professional, why some people choose not to, and how that affects access to professional networks and opportunities; (3) why the “social” element of the equity dimensions of corporate sustainability and CSR frameworks must be grounded in community; (4) the importance of the language used to talk about sustainability and economic development; and (5) how policymaking (within companies and within communities) can move us towards a more equitable and sustainable economic future.

Watch the panel discussion »

October 23, 2020 | BSR Virtual 2020
"Rethinking Growth and Prosperity during Global Crises"

CSB Director CB Bhattacharya participated in the following panel discussion at the BSR 2020 Virtual Conference:

The pursuit of ever-greater economic growth has failed to deliver on the promise of prosperity for all, while also pushing our planet beyond capacity. The dual crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice, especially in the U.S., have laid bare deep inequalities and highlighted the extreme vulnerability of large portions of the working class, despite years of increased productivity and economic growth. Meanwhile, a near complete pause of business for months resulted in the greatest environmental gains since World War II, while also exposing how far we still are from meeting critical targets. Panelists from government, academia, and the private sector will discuss the paths forward, how we can rethink the traditional link between growth and prosperity, and implications in the face of climate change, persistent inequality, and now, massive unemployment.

October 22, 2020 | Earth Day Sustainable Business Breakfast

The CSB partnerned with other organizations around Pittsburgh to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. CSB Director CB Bhattacharya joined senior corporate leaders on a panel at the annual Sustainable Business Breakfast, which was held virtually.

October 13-14, 2020 | Fall 2020 Sustainable Business Forum
"Enticing, Empowering, and Engaging Employees through Sustainability Initiatives"

October 7, 2020 | Sustainable Finance Policy Summit

October 5, 2020 | Pitt Civic Action Week: Workshop for Undergraduate Students
"Expanding the Concept of Corporate Social Responsibility: Why So Many Companies Are Talking about Sustainability"

In the last few years, many major global companies have made grand strides in their commitments to reducing waste, tackling climate change, and defining their sense of “purpose” in the world. Many of these commitments go beyond the idea of “corporate social responsibility” to a much more expansive concept of “corporate sustainability.” Yet, with the onset of COVID-19, some fear that companies will weaken these commitments or engage in backsliding. Others argue this is a chance to reset and build back better than ever before. Professor CB Bhattacharya, H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability and Ethics, and Director of the Center for Sustainable Business, will engage with this discussion head on (30min presentation). Following Prof. Bhattacharya’s presentation will be a one hour workshop that allows students to begin tackling these questions themselves. Through hands-on exercises, students will learn why it is important for companies to embed sustainability throughout their organization in order to have a truly successful sustainability strategy and create a more equitable world for all.

This event was part of Pitt Civic Action Week: Discover Your Pathway.

October 1, 2020 | US Climate Mayors National Dialogue
"A Green & Equitable Recovery in the Ohio Valley"

This event was the fourth in the Climate Mayors National Dialogue on a Green and Equitable Recovery, a nationwide speaker series advocating for national leadership to prioritize recovery policies that are environmentally sustainable and socially just in the time of COVID-19. Learn more on the event page.

September 30, 2020 | Go Clean Energy Conference
"Build Your Business with Sustainability: Examples Small to Large"

Prof. CB Bhattacharya gave a presentation titled “Build Your Business with Sustainability: Examples Small to Large” on September 30, 2020 at 3pm EST.

September 24, 2020 | Green Wave

CSB Director CB Bhattacharya presented at the 2nd Annual Green Wave Summit. Held online, Green Wave explores how companies can accelerate change for the benefit of the planet. The conference features talks from major organizations as well as opportunities to network with other sustainability leaders.

September 24, 2020 | Green Speakeasy
"Responsible Investment for a Sustainable World"

MCSI's Green Speakeasy Series returned with Tom Croft, Executive Director, Steel Valley Authority and Managing Director, Heartland Capital Strategies Network. This event was cohosted by the CSB and MCSI.

September 17, 2020 | Diversity & Sustainability Purchasing Training
The CSB partnered with Pitt Purchasing to offer a one-hour diversity and sustainability training to all Pitt Business staff with purchasing responsibilities.

September 2, 2020 | CSB Lecture Series - Mike Corcoran, PPG
“Insights from a Fortune 200 Sustainability Expert”

Mike Corcoran spoke to the Pitt Business community about how sustainability factors into his role as Manager of Environmental Compliance at PPG.

July 30, 2020 | Black-Owned Businesses at Pitt: Opportunity & Commitment
University of Pittsburgh Diversity Forum "Advancing Social Justice: A Call to Action"

Systemic racism exists in the business and entrepreneurial space where differential access to capital and resources serves as the main perpetuator of inequity. As a pillar of the Pennsylvania and regional economies, the University of Pittsburgh is committed to responsible and impactful spending practices to strengthen our community with focused engagement and purchasing strategies. Our goal is to create a space where diverse businesses can access growth opportunities and where buyers can access the resources to make more equitable purchasing decisions. This workshop will review Pitt’s strategies and achievements in diverse spending, and present engagement opportunities for local businesses.

Watch the Diversity Forum workshop »

June 24, 2020 | COVID-19 Check In
This invitation-only meeting for CSB corporate sponsors and select invited industry guests was held to share news from the CSB and provide a platform to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and conversation as we all work to adapt our operations during COVID-19 while keeping sustainability and resilience top of mind.

June 18, 2020 | RSA US June Virtual Salon
"Taking Ownership of a Sustainable Future"
The UN SDGs have been upended by the pandemic. Prof. CB Bhattacharya FRSA discussed why businesses should remain committed to them.

June 17, 2020 | CSB Webinar
"Sustainability in the COVID-19 Era: Logistics and Supply Chain Management"

The ability to adapt supply chains and resolve emerging logistical issues while limiting (or eliminating) negative impacts on society, the environment, and the long-term financial health of the company is a critical component of building a more sustainable business. But, what has this looked like in practice? How are companies adapting their supply chain and operations to respond to the challenges introduced by COVID-19? What lessons can be learned from these adjustments as we look towards building a more sustainable world post-pandemic?

This webinar consisted of a one-hour moderated discussion with leaders in the transportation, building and surface coverings manufacturing, and energy industries:

Geoffrey Muessig, PITT OHIO
Dhruv Raina, Tarkett
William Sapon, Peoples

June 11, 2020 | The DPP "Can We Build Back Greener?"
In this executive roundtable, experts debated the impact of the pandemic on sustainability initiatives, such as those in the media and tech industries, and how we can ensure we build back greener.

March 3, 2020 | Corporate Purpose, (Social) Equity, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Center for Sustainable Business and the Global Studies Center hosted an interactive panel discussion about the role of business in driving social change in line with the United Nations’ SDG framework.

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March 2, 2020 | CSB Lecture Series Inaugural Lecture featuring Heinz Foundation Visiting Fellow Dr. Shareen Hertel
“New Views on Stakeholder Engagement: Insights from Tethered Fates

A headshot of Shareen Hertel
Global supply chains link consumers, brands, manufacturers, workers, and local community members as “stakeholders” with significantly different levels of risk and benefit. When harm occurs in the course of business activity, prevailing approaches to stakeholder consultation are typically driven by companies, without significant input from people at the grassroots level. This talk reveals where stakeholder consultation is taking place globally; how the process unfolds at the community level; and what types of innovation might be possible but are currently missed by “top-down” approaches to consultation. Hertel’s talk features analysis of quantitative data from over 7,000 companies worldwide; she finds extractive companies across all regions tend to consult more heavily than light manufacturing companies, and corporations determine the mode, scope and content of the practice regardless of sector or region. The talk also features original interview data from paired case studies in two manufacturing towns in the Dominican Republic where collegiate apparel is produced. Hertel reveals local peoples’ insights on the limits of existing approaches to stakeholder dialogue along with their ideas for how better to diagnose problems, predict future challenges, and forge solutions to ongoing violations of economic rights.

Watch Shareen Hertel's lecture »

January 16, 2020 | Eryn Correa

Eryn Correa, Director of Strategy at Diversecity and former Associate Counsel at Alcoa, spoke with students in Katz Corporate Sustainability Club about sustainability decision-making by those who do not have sustainability directly in their title. Eryn reflected on her time at Alcoa and led an open discussion with students in attendance.

October 24, 2019 | John Viera Keynote Address

John Viera standing and presenting

John Viera is currently an Executive in Residence for the Erb Institute, a partnership between the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Previously, Mr. Viera served as the Global Director of Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters at Ford Motor Company. John Viera delivered the keynote address at the Center for Sustainable Business Launch Event, which brought in over 100 leading professionals.

Watch John Viera's keynote address »

November 30, 2018 | Ed Freeman

Ed Freeman standing and presenting

R. Edward Freeman is University Professor and Olsson Professor of Business Administration; Academic Director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics; and an Academic Director of the Institute for Business in Society at the Darden School, University of Virginia. Professor Freeman gave a presentation at Katz Graduate School of Business.

Watch Professor Freeman's presentation »

November 2, 2017 | Wayne Balta

A headshot of Wayne Balta

"Environmental Leadership: From Control, Prevention, and Integration to a New Era of Innovation"

In his presentation at Katz Graduate School of Business, Wayne Balta discussed the evolution of corporate environmental leadership. He also elaborated on his role as IBM’s chief environmental executive. He is a member of IBM’s Growth & Transformation Team, a group of IBM executives that drive growth pursuant to innovation and shifts in business and technology. The event was moderated by by CB Bhattacharya, H. J. Zoffer Chair of Sustainability and Ethics at the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business.

Wayne Balta is is past chairman of the Conference Board's Chief Environment, Health, and Safety Officers Council. He was named a White House Champion of Change in 2012.

September 27, 2017 | Jeffrey Sachs

A headshot of Jeffrey Sachs

"A New Strategy for U.S. Health and Healthcare"

Moderated by CB Bhattacharya, H. J. Zoffer Chair of Sustainability and Ethics

Professor Sachs discussed a practical pathway to reforming U.S. healthcare and public health with aims of reducing disease, increasing longevity, and substantially cutting healthcare costs. Jeffrey Sachs is University Professor at Columbia University and is one of the world's leading experts in economic growth and public health. He is a New York Times bestselling author.