Leading Sustainability MBA Program with Dr. Robert Sroufe

Robert Sroufe is a Professor of Sustainability, Operations and Supply Chain Management in the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Professor Sroufe develops and teaches a course on Strategic Sustainability and Models, which covers the forces and models driving current decision making while integrating sustainable business practices into operations. He also develops and teaches a course on Sustainable Tools and Processes which teaches students how to develop sustainability management plans, how to understand energy management systems, and there even is a LEED competition!

Sroufe believes that students thrive when challenged with real-world problems. Thus, he likes to engage students in problem based learning and research. During both the Fall and Spring semesters, Sroufe co-instructs Sustainability Consulting Field Project courses and oversees student teams that are consulting real-world corporate clients! 

Sroufe is currently working to develop new opportunities to integrate sustainability courses within the Graduate and Undergraduate programs. Sroufe’s course, Sustainability Tools and Processes for New Initiatives was one of just 20 winners selected internationally by the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program (Aspen BSP) for the 2017 Ideas Worth Teaching Award. Sroufe was also an Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer finalist, and has received the University Creative Teaching Award, and the Decision Sciences Institute Instructional Innovation Award for the development and delivery of these courses. As a faculty member within the innovative and #1 ranked U.S. MBA Sustainable Business Practices program, he is also an integral member of the faculty team awarded the Page Prize for Best U.S. Environmental Curriculum.

In his research, Professor Sroufe primarily aims to understand what drives sustainability performance and how firms can develop effective environmental management systems to enable the measurement and management of a triple bottom line. His work has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, the European Journal of Operations Research, Journal of Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Production Research, the Production and Inventory Management Journal, Greener Management International, and Business Strategy and the Environment, while also publishing books on Integrated Management: How Sustainability Creates Value for Any Business, Developing Sustainable Supply Chains to Drive Value: Management Issues, Insights, and Tools; and Strategic Corporate Environmental Management Systems. Professor Sroufe consults with a range of corporations, and conducts quantitative and qualitative research with firms including Alcoa, Baxter, Dow, Eco Labs, Ford, Gillette, GSA, Herman Miller, IBM, Intel, Interfaces, Lucent, and Steelcase.

Prior to joining the MBA+Sustainability program, Professor Sroufe was an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at Boston College. He holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Operations and a dual M.B.A. in Materials and Logistics Management, along with Procurement from MSU.

Show Highlights 

  • The best way to protect the environment is to avoid reactive approaches.  
  • Investigate the interaction between the environment and the state of the world. 
  • The top MBA sustainability program in the country puts best practices into action by providing experience and understanding of the importance of buildings in the sustainability movement. 
    1. Robert is actively looking for participants that would want to engage a team of MBAs to figure out how to solve a problem that we don’t know the answer to.
    2. Projects at no cost to clients 
  • Examine how products interact with space and contribute to indoor air quality issues when designing for human health and productivity.
  • Decisions that can turn a return on investment into a return on integration and a feature on net present value turned into an integrated future value. 
  • Why the phrase “Triple Bottom Line” should be changed to an “Integrated Bottom Line”?
  • The highlight reel filled with projects and curriculum that inspires world sustainability every student and young profession needs to hear. 
  • Tips to understand the overwhelming amount of data when selecting products with less impacts on the environment and society.

“I want to face real problems with student teams and then apply a framework for the solution. The framework is a strategic sustainable development framework looking at understanding systems. Think about what is strategic, how we define success, and what tools can we apply to help solve the problem.”

– Robert Sroufe

Robert Sroufe Transcript

Robert Sroufe’s Show Resource and Information

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