Sustainability and ESG for Value Creation by Chris Laszlo, Phd | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University
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Sustainability and ESG for Value Creation by Chris Laszlo, Phd

Posted 2.28.2023

Sustainability and ESG for value creation

Weatherhead Executive Education at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) works with the corporate community to reframe Sustainability and ESG as sources of value creation. We help organizations turn environmental, social, and governance risks and opportunities into drivers of business innovation, employee engagement, customer loyalty, and other forms of shareholder value.

The evidence is overwhelming: a well-executed ESG strategy can create financial value. Several studies show a statistically significant positive relationship between ESG and financial performance (Whelan et. al. 2021). Leading companies know how to create value for society and the environment in ways that that create even more value for their customers and shareholders. Nevertheless, the topic continues to be hotly debated, with a number of leaders arguing that businesses should stick to a narrow focus on shareholder value and that ESG is, at best, a distraction from the real business of making money.

The Weatherhead Sustainability Deep Dive helps organizations turn Sustainability and ESG into powerful sources of competitive advantage using state-of-the-art tools and practices:

  • The six levels of value creation
  • Materiality-adjusted financial performance
  • Integration of Sustainability and ESG into core business strategy
  • A framework to sharpen impact and avoid perceptions of greenwashing by distinguishing between doing less harm, positive impact type 1, and positive impact type 2
  • Reporting and disclosure standards such as ISSB, SEC Mandatory Climate Risk, and CSRD
  • Capitalizing on new legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act that shifts the emphasis from risk mitigation to value capture
  • Case studies of leading companies successfully competing on Sustainability & ESG performance
  • The role of organizational culture and executive mindset (and how to transform them)
  • A collaborative process called Appreciative Inquiry as a tool to successfully implement Sustainability and ESG for value and profit in your organization.

Research, Experience and Thought Leadership Matter. Weatherhead Leads the World in Sustainable Value Creation

Chris Laszlo, PhD, is a world-renowned Professor of Organizational Behavior at the CWRU Weatherhead School of Management.  He is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in Embedding Sustainability, Flourishing Enterprise, and Quantum Leadership. As one of the originators of the concept of sustainable value, Chris Laszlo, PhD, reframes sustainability as a business opportunity, turning environmental and social risks into drivers of innovation, greater employee engagement, and a new, inimitable source of competitive advantage.

How might we collaborate to add sustainable value to your enterprise?   Options include:

I.                   Sustainability and ESG: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

Delivery Channel – Interactive presentation and discussion for executive audiences or Board of Directors briefing available on-the-ground or virtual

Duration – 60 to 75 minutes in an interactive dialogue format

II.                 Sustainability and ESG as drivers of value creation

Delivery Channel – Workshop available on-the-ground or via virtual delivery

Duration – 4 Hours, Plus Prework

Developing an integrated Sustainability and ESG strategy in the core business requires reframing these topics as sources of value creation. This workshop is designed to:

  • Raise awareness of sustainability as a source of business advantage
  • Provide participants with the practical tools and competencies that enable them to integrate sustainability into everyday decision-making
  • Help them to identify and develop value-add business opportunities based on sustainability-driven growth and innovation
  • Develop management practices and positive routines that create a more fulfilling, meaningful, and flourishing workplace to improve employee wellbeing, collaboration, and effectiveness
  • Learn from sustainability leaders in relevant sectors and show how they created value.

Participants in the workshop are typically drawn from across the client organization including—but not limited to—those responsible for embedding sustainability into key business areas. The workshop is designed to enable this group to brainstorm Sustainability and ESG strategies and key implementation steps. It aims to give participants a greater sense of ownership and momentum for carrying out these strategies and implementation steps post-workshop.

III.              Global Corporate Sustainability for Value and Profit at Your Company

Beyond Sustainability: Flourishing as the New Paradigm for Corporate Strategy

Delivery Channel – On-the-ground and virtual delivery

Duration – 3 Program Days Plus Project Work spanning 3 to 6 Months Including Report Out

This program is aimed at further integrating Sustainability and ESG into your organization’s strategy and operations. By adding senior leadership-endorsed initiatives and participant-designed projects to the learning curriculum, the organization is able to advance key strategic and operational priorities.

A detailed sample agenda is available upon request.

We would be pleased to discuss your interests and collaborate on crafting the right approach to your organization’s specific needs

Chuck Black                                                                                                        

Director of Custom Corporate Solutions, Weatherhead Executive Education

Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University

(216) 368-6241

Client Endorsements

“Bayer has launched an employee education program to advance sustainability throughout the corporation. It’s called STEP—for Sustainability Thinking Education Program. Chris Laszlo was instrumental in designing STEP and preparing Bayer executives for the key leadership role they must play in making the program a success.”    - Greg Babe, President and CEO, Bayer Corporation

"Chris Laszlo designed and facilitated a workshop for senior executives of L'Oréal dedicated to integrating Sustainable Development into the core of our business development and innovation strategy. Thanks to his listening skills and understanding of our culture, his expertise with integrating Sustainable Development at the core of business strategy, his experience of FMCG industries, and his acute facilitation style, this workshop created a strong sense of commitment among participants leading to strategic recommendations made to L'Oréal’s Executive Committee that were accepted and are now on their way to being implemented."    - David Arnéra, Group Director, L'Oréal

"Chris Laszlo engaged our leadership group in a day long discussion and action planning event which was the springboard to integrate sustainability in all aspects of our business. His presentation engaged our group as it was personalized to our industry as well as included data and information gathered directly from our company. His discussion created an atmosphere which allowed the Weatherchem employees to discover how we affect the overall value chain in the packaging world and helped us to identify areas that will directly impact our bottom line. Dr. Laszlo is a terrific resource with his vast applicable knowledge of this area.”   - Jennifer Altstadt, President, Weatherchem Corporation

For undergraduate programs: learn more information here or apply now. For graduate programs: request more information or apply now. You can also register for one of over 70 open enrollment courses through Executive Education.

Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University cultivates creativity, innovation, and purpose-driven leadership to design a better world.