A KLU Key Competence Area

Sustainability has emerged as a central issue in today's business world. Environmental issues such as global warming, increasing waste and pollution, depleting natural resources combined with societal issues such as health, safety, equality, fairness and development put an unprecedented pressure on companies to realign their businesses while remaining profitable and competitive.

Governments around the globe take measures to shift from the traditional linear economic model based on a 'take-make-consume-throw away' pattern, to a more circular and sustainable economic model based on sharing, leasing, reuse, repair, refurbishment, and recycling, in a closed loop, where products and materials they contain are highly valued. Similarly, global warming is changing the way governments and businesses need to think about carbon emissions regarding transportation, logistics and supply chain operations. Fostering a "green image" opens new markets for many businesses while optimizing reverse logistics yields significant cost reductions. On the societal level, increased awareness about socially responsible development pushes companies and governments to design operations and supply chains by taking into consideration more direct social impacts, such as on employment, on development of local communities as well as through humanitarian and disaster relief operations. As such, a solid understanding of the sustainability discourse along the tripe bottom line (financial, social, ecological) is a fundamental prerequisite for dealing with the modern issues surrounding businesses and the stakeholders' call for a better sustainability measurement and reporting.

With its study programs and research, the KLU's mission in the field of sustainability is to prepare future business leaders who understand the impact of business on environment and society, and propel sustainable change. Our students comprehend sustainability by its three integral components of profit, environment, and society, and with an emphasis on supply chain management and logistics.

In KLU we define sustainability broadly not only to include its economic, environmental and social dimensions but also to embrace ethical issues, resilience and humanitarian aid.  The research that we conduct in this wide field aims to enhance the health and well-being of the population and the ecosystems upon which we all depend.

Prof. Alan C. McKinnon, PHD, Professor of Logistics

Selected Publications