Past Events

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"

Biweekly Sustainable Business Forum featuring 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 talk about sustainability and DE&I and how they are inextricably linked.  DE&I is here to stay for a really long and companies which are ignoring it fails to see the hindsight of current market.


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.

Watch the SDG panel »

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.