Stanford Business School Conference Makes Case for Socially Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Supply Chains
STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS—On the day after the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, more than 200 corporate and academic supply chain management experts gathered at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to exchange ideas and best practices aimed at making the global supply chain more sustainable.
The April 3 conference called "Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains: Making the Business Case" was co-sponsored by the Global Supply Chain Management Forum and the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford Business School. "We are providing a platform for business leaders and others concerned with the environment and corporate social responsibility to work together toward the common goal of ensuring the availability of natural resources, supporting social reforms, and at the same time securing the efficient delivery of supplies," said Hau Lee, Codirector of the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum and the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information, and Technology.
The conference is just one of several initiatives around environmental sustainability at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The April 3 conference launches a new and continuing Global Supply Chain Forum program of Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains. It will include collaborations with industry, NGOs and others; research and teaching including the development of new cases and course content; and knowledge dissemination through conferences, journal articles, and newsletters. The Office of Executive Education has developed its first course for practicing executives and nonprofit leaders in the field, Business Strategies for Environmental Sustainability to be offered September 16-22. MBA students have chosen Greening the Bottom Line as the 2006-2007 focus of the School's Public Management Initiative, which will heighten awareness and develop programming in the area.
The April 3 conference sessions highlighted the importance of social and environmental concerns and creative solutions to the greening of the supply chain. Keynote addresses included "Encouraging Sustainability in the Specialty Coffee Industry" delivered by a senior Starbucks executive and "Shifting the Conversation Upstream: Using Corporate Responsibility to Drive Innovation in the Business" offered by a senior Nike executive.
Speakers included representatives from Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Solectron, Microsoft, Levi Strauss, Disney, Chiquita, and WalMart among others. "Environmentally sustainable and socially responsible practices lead to a competitive advantage," said Lee.
"The most powerful way to foster social innovation is by promoting the mutual exchange of ideas, values, talent, and capital across sectors-what we call 'dissolving boundaries,' said James Phills, the Claude N. Rosenberg Jr. Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. "It is increasingly apparent that our ability to address complex social problems depends on the collaboration of business, government, and nonprofits. Because the conference brings together leaders from all three of these sectors to share and advance the theory and practice of socially and environmentally responsible supply chains, it is a remarkable event."
About the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum
The Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum is a leading research institute in partnership with industry practitioners, the Stanford School of Engineering, and Stanford Graduate School of Business, that advances the theory and practice of excellence in global supply chain management. Working with approximately 30 industrial organizations, the Forum is actively engaged with a broad cross-section of leading and emerging industries to identify, document, research, develop and disseminate best practices in a dynamic and increasingly global economic business environment.
About the Stanford Center for Social Innovation
The Center for Social Innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business builds and strengthens the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop innovative solutions to social problems that produce a more just, sustainable and healthy world.
The Center's core activities-research, teaching and community engagement-focus on many thematic areas including corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, philanthropy, education, and nonprofit management.