The Conversation: Business Schools Should Focus on Sustainability, Not Profit

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Professor Landrum of Chicago’s Loyola University, Business Schools are spending too much effort teaching students how to run a profitable business.

US business schools failing on climate change

April 21, 2017 5.34am AEST
Author: Nancy E. Landrum, Professor of Sustainable Business Management, Loyola University Chicago

Coca-Cola and Nestlé have recently closed facilities, and Starbucks is bracing for a global shortage of coffee – all due to effects from climate change. Climate change impacts every resource used by businesses: from agriculture, water, land and energy to workers and the economy. No business will be untouched.

As a researcher and professor of business management, I have found that sustainable business courses across the U.S. do not align with the scientific consensus that we need radical change to avert disastrous consequences of climate change.

These future business leaders are not being prepared for the climate change challenges their companies are certain to face.

Reducing carbon emissions is the most common sustainability goal for companies. Many companies do this by becoming more energy efficient and reducing waste. But, as a whole, corporate sustainability efforts are best described as business as usual, with only small gradual improvements being made. Businesses are simply failing to grasp the deep change that is needed.

Companies need to work within this scientific “carbon budget.” There is, indeed, a small group of businesses setting ambitious targets that are consistent with the science.

For our research, we studied 51 of the hundreds of business programs in the U.S. We found that when an introductory sustainable business course is offered, it often remains an elective in the business school curriculum. Only a few business schools offer minors, majors, certificates or graduate degrees in sustainability management or sustainable business.

The 51 schools in our study are actually at the forefront of training students in environmental sustainability – that is, compared to the majority of business schools, which do not offer sustainability coursework at all. What we found is that even these schools are doing a poor job of preparing their students for the future.

Future business leaders must be equipped with the scientific understanding of how climate change is currently impacting business, how it will impact business in the future and the profound change that is required of business and industry.

Professors of these courses should assign readings that communicate the scientific need for businesses to operate in a more sustainable way to address climate change. Such readings should note that “substantial changes” in policies, institutions and practices are required.

Such education can help shift the focus and motivation for corporate sustainability away from legal compliance and corporate profit toward a need to repair the environment and live in balance with the natural world.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/us-business-schools-failing-on-climate-change-75905

Nancy’s study referenced by The Conversation;

Content trends in sustainable business education: an analysis of introductory courses in the USA

Nancy E. Landrum , (Quinlan School of Business and Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Brian Ohsowski, (Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Purpose
This study aims to identify the content in introductory business sustainability courses in the USA to determine the most frequently assigned reading material and its sustainability orientation.

Design/methodology/approach
In total, 81 introductory sustainable business course syllabi reading lists were analyzed from 51 US colleges and universities. The study utilized frequency counts for authors and readings and R analysis of key words to classify readings along the sustainability spectrum.

Findings
The study reveals the most frequently assigned authors and readings in US sustainable business courses (by program type) and places them along the sustainability spectrum from weak to strong. In total, 55 per cent of the top readings assigned in the sample advocate a weak sustainability paradigm, and 29 per cent of the top readings advocate a strong sustainability paradigm.

Research limitations/implications
This study focused on reading lists of introductory courses in the USA; cases, videos and supplemental materials were excluded, and the study does not analyze non-US courses.

Practical implications
The findings of this study can inform instructors of the most commonly assigned authors and readings and identify readings that align with weak sustainability and strong sustainability. Instructors are now able to select sustainable business readings consistent with peers and which advance a weak or strong sustainability orientation.

Originality/value
This is the first research to identify the most commonly assigned authors and readings to aid in course planning. This is also the first research to guide instructors in identifying which readings represent weak versus strong sustainability.

Read more: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2016-0135

What I find most objectionable about Professor Landrum’s point is her demand that sustainability courses be a mandatory component of business education.

Students have the choice of whether to sign up to sustainability electives. Studying sustainability might be useful if the student wants to work for a green champion like Apple Corp. But it probably makes more sense to study business, if the student wants to work for a normal company.

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181 thoughts on “The Conversation: Business Schools Should Focus on Sustainability, Not Profit

    • Tsk Tsk Tsk, you nasty business schools, imagine the audacity of actually teaching the precepts of business in business schools, these people obviously haven’t touched their Kool-Aid yet.

      C R A Z Y

    • Well without profit, there is NO sustainability.
      One of the first US colonies eschewed profit, and came close to all starving.

      Parasitism only works until you find where you put the fly swatter.

      G

      • Ah, sweet irony. Without profit, there is no tax revenue, and therefore no EPA, fed, state and local governments, government workers unions of all levels fighting for a mélange of advocacy issues, etc., etc., etc.

    • the only truly sustainable human activity is poverty.

      everything else consumes resources, most of which are finite because planet earth is finite, and no process can be 100% efficient. even if one was to totally recycle solar panels to make new solar panels, eventually you would run out of usable materials and be left with 100% waste.

      • Precisely, the aim of the extreme ‘environmentalists’, getting rid of the world’s population.

      • Interesting thought experiment. Since we have no experience with this eventuality, we might also imagine a future with new technologies that converted atom A to atom B, dirt to gold, for example (not that gold is all that useful.) But then we’d have the Left inciting panic over the lack of dirt.

    • without profit, plants and animals go extinct, because they do not have the excess resources required to create the next generation.

      when an organism has enough to sustain life and no more, the organism eventually dies without successfully reproducing. When all individuals of a species suffer the same fate, the species goes extinct.

  1. They might as well say, “and forget about capitalism and market-based economies too. The most successful economic scheme ever.”

    There may indeed be a coffee bean shortage *some day*, but it ^will not* be due to too much CO2 fertilizer in the air or “too much” milder temperatures.

    When it ocurrs, It will be due to market forces shifting prices due to supply and demand. A supply controlled by acres/hectares cultivated, by rational human farmers responding to market price fluctuations that can take several years to adjust to.

    It is the same old story, new cause. Crop shortages occurred throughout history. Only now, everything from climatism study authors is attributed to too much CO2. The best explanation is it is simply to ride the climate gravy train grant funding by the study authors. If it is climate change, no critical thought skils needed. The perfect Millenial decision tree.

    • I wrote a long piece and then realized this is just communism and there is little new a say about it. Don’t be daft, don’t be a communist.

      • Except this is communism that they market can take care of, how many of these kids do you think will actually be-able to keep their jobs? If they do how long will the business they work for last? Then how many kids will want to go to these schools? The key is to get the government out of financing these universities, then they too will have to bow to the market.

      • This reminds me of the competition in world-wide gold production near the end of the Soviet Union era, at which time South Africa ranked #1 and the Soviets, cost be damned, boasted they were the #2 producer.

        When the Soviet Union fell, they finally put a “sharp pencil” to their gold production and found that fully a THIRD of all the ounces they produced annually cost them MORE to produce than the spot price of gold!

        Duh!

        In effect, the Soviets were taking precious capital from other endeavors to maintain that coveted #2 spot in world-wide gold production. Consequently, those gold mines that were losing money were quickly suspended because even those silly Russian Commies finally realized it was a stupid thing to do.

        I’ve heard that Soviet-era communism fell but in truth it just sneaked into the West and rebranded itself as “sustainability”. And true to its implementation during the Soviet era, it’s all just one big economic Ponzi scheme.

      • Bob, the problem is when these kids lose their jobs and start whining to politicians that it isn’t fair that their sustainable company went under, while those evil companies that only care about profits continue to survive.
        The political answer will be to subsidize those companies that meet the politicians definition of “sustainable”.
        Better to cut this monster off at the knees before it has a chance to get entrenched.

      • Rocky Road

        Reagan had about a thousand jokes about the cleverness of communist Russian and their economic system. Take few seconds a google them, there are great.

      • MarkW

        Unfortunately of course you are correct and then the market will take care of that too by flushing our entire system down the tubes.

      • I wish Hugo Chavez were still alive to see the fruits of his labors.

        I wish others had the ability to learn from his mistakes.

        (cause or effect? … are they daft because they of the socialist bent, or are they of the socialist bent because they are daft?)

    • Ooooh, sustainability really presses my buttons. A few profanities follow. Apologies to the mods.

      I have news for these goddamned sustainability experts.” You have NO CLUE what is and what is not sustainable. Try to imagine in your feeble little zombie brains what an economist from 100 years ago (1917, Verdun, the Somme, etc.) would have thought was headed humanity’s way. Trying to be futurist is a difficult task, with no possible path to any outcome of any kind. Because you don’t know what the economy of the future is going to be. You don’t know jack. Better you adopt the temporary aberration of humility of ClimateGate hockey team player Ed Cook when he said “we know f**k all.” Do us all a big favor. Close down your stupid graduate schools of sustainability and try to find productive employment.

    • The hilarity of it all is the absence of any “climate harm” to existing businesses, contrary to the author’s claim of current impacts.

      Engendering fear in the population of a future harm is a time-tested way to riches.

    • Of course it could also be directly proportional to the quantity of Starbucks franchises in the world currently at 24,300 stores.

  2. I think that we shdrumould all jump off the nearest cliff now. Nancy Lundrum hopefully will lead us.
    Can anyone really be this crazy?
    If everyone follows her warped doctrine, there will be no businesses and no supply of anything – hence her dream will come true.

    Hurrr? (The toolman has the only answer.

    Roger

    http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

    • The only sustainability course I can see making any sense in a business school is one dealing with how to handle the myriad of regulation likely to be seen. Knowing that these idiots will throw up roadblocks with every chance can be valuable to know.

    • I’m very glad one nephew is in a Merchant Marine academy (no snowflakes!) and the other is an apprentice plumber. Nowadays a “college education” is hanging a millstone of idiocy around your neck that will take 30 years to unlearn. Witness the meltdown of the Democratic Party!

  3. 20 years ago, when I did my MBA, one of the interesting areas was learning about all the legal forms of organisation that can be set up to run an enterprise. By no means all of them have maximising shareholder value as the overarching goal.

    My definition of a sustainable business is one which remains solvent for 20 years or more. There is a difference between maximising profits and creating surpluses, after all. Surpluses are necessary in the real world as every business experiences short-term difficulties and needs a cash buffer to ride it out.

    The balance which always has to be struck is between reinvesting profits in the business, retaining a strong cash reserve and paying shareholders dividends. The other balance is between profits achieved and salaries paid to staff and Directors. In a fast-moving competitive environment, reinvestment is essential, even if the investment is significantly in marketing and advertising rather than NPD.

    However, it is a uniquely Anglo-Saxon position to assume that only shareholders matter. In other value systems, employees and local community health also matter, and it is not just self-righteous business owners who can create community health….

    What is silly in this discussion is the unevaluated postulate that climate change will wipe out every business.

  4. Wow….

    “Sustainable” is Leftist Newspeak for totalitarianism and government command/control economies…

    It’s feckless political hacks that ultimately decide what “sustainable” economies can and cannot do through: regulations, tax policies, mandates, price fixing, labor laws, monetary controls, interest rate manipulation, money printing, subsidies, cronism, etc., etc.,

    All such totalitarian economies can ultimately “accomplish” is to create awful dystopian economies and societies of shared pain and despair. The feckless tyrants and their cronies live well, but the rest of society suffers from tyrannical oppression and poverty.

    Just let the free market decide what and how goods are produced and how limited resources are best utilized and allocated, with all parties protected by just, reasoned, and fair product liability and commercial laws and pollution/production standards. The market can figure out the rest…

    God save us from tyrants that wish to save us from ourselves and are “only doing what they think is best”… screw them…

    • A load of peasants living in mud huts, with the Lord in his Manor and the Clergy in their Cathedrals is “Sustainable”. Sustained for several centuries, in fact.

      Not really surprising that the wanna be lords and wanna be clergy want to go back to that time.

  5. Should be a required part of Gaia seminary curriculum.
    Cost: benefit analyses are “oh so 20th Century”…

  6. Our Chinese associates love this stuff.
    White men teach next gen how to be less competitive with Asia.
    My prediction in less than 100-years most giants of commerce will be based in China and India.
    Go for it stupid white men!

  7. Quote: Coca-Cola and Nestlé have recently closed facilities, and Starbucks is bracing for a global shortage of coffee – all due to effects from climate change.

    Interesting. Presumably the Coca-Cola company has advised the stock exchange that it closed facilities DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE. After all that is market sensitive information. Ditto for the other companies.

    If anybody can point me to the relevant stock exchange advice by Coca Cola I’d appreciate it. Until then I’m happy to labour under the belief that Landrum just made it up.

    I’m also unclear as to whether she is a professor of business or a professor of sustainable business. Her article says both.

    • It’s true though, about global warming, if it happens, making coffee scarcer and more expensive.
      As the world becomes wealthier, demand will rise and even though the land suitable for coffee-growing will increase, it is a labour-intensive activity and people will be less willing to work at it for the small wages they get now.

      • Gnome, I’m sorry, but it is not true that global warming, as modeled in IPCC climate models, will result in “making coffee scarcer and more expensive.” They only say that some areas will get slightly dryer and some slightly wetter and the globe slightly warmer. They don’t, however, consider the beneficial impacts of CO2 fertilization.

        Extreme activists twist any projected changes into scary scenarios.

    • Coca-Cola shut down production facilities in Venezuela. It was obviously a climate change caused sustainability issue. /sarc

    • I was going to post the same comment but would add: Unless the taxpayer subsidizes your losses. In that case you could continue until the taxpayer ran out of money.

      • Want some bad examples? Look no further than California or South Africa’s “State Owned Enterprises” for tax-eating! Why, the SA Government made losses on owning a diamond mine!

  8. The most “climate Favourable” business is one that doesn’t exist. So it makes sense that they would want to train people to fail in business.

    • Mike-San:

      Yes, one would think the economic collapse of Venezuela would be a wake up call to Leftists, showing clearly their economic philosophies don’t work and are both unethical and immoral… but, alas.

      5 years ago, my Leftists friends were singing the praises of the utopian Venezuelan Socialist economy…. Now they say, “it just needs to be tweaked a little”, if they say anything at all….

      If we fail to learn the lessons of history, we’re doomed to repeat them…

  9. These future business leaders are not being prepared for the climate change challenges their companies are certain to face.

    Lists, please. If these are “certain”, then the challenges must be well-documented somewhere.

    Hint: models are not ‘evidence’.

    • You need to learn the language, Jer0me.

      In this sort of doom-speak, “certain” means “we would like you to believe”. Facts are not permitted to intrude, other than what they deem to be facts which are in these situations … shall we say “flexible”. Documentation is absolutely forbidden. You might try to hold them to the written word!

  10. Fluctuations in coffee production is nothing to do with carbon budget but it is part of natural variability part of climate change. For example, in Ethiopia, the coffee growing region [Gore] presents a 36 year cycle in precipitation [with high rainfall variability during the above and the below average parts] — near to Sudan border [I visited this region].

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  11. Very many major businesses are investing in sustainability and/or renewable energy… they do this as much to reduce costs and increase profitability as for any other reason.

    go look at Walmart’s recent announcements, or Ford’s savings from reducing energy use or Johnson and Johnson, Diageo, Pepsi…

  12. Guess what!

    Another generously grant funded study with climate used to generate the dosh!

    effing parasites!

    !!!!!!!!

  13. If the winter that hasn’t let the Northern Hemisphere go yet is the climate you get with the onset of global cooling, then our good professor is already way off the `sustainability’ line. Some are predicting cold times for the next fifty years.

    Hasn’t he taken on board the instability in the economy? The 2008 crash is part of a business `natural cycle.’
    (It means the economists don’t know what causes it.) It seems independent of the climate and solar cycles. And it’s a company killer.

    `Profit’ is the major `sustainability’ supply for any business. Sure, business needs to remain agile in the face of as many changes as possible, warming, cooling, Presidential change, elections, etc but to sacrifice `profit’ for `sustainability’ is to sacrifice `sustainability’ and the company.

    • I’d say, FOUNDATIONAL sustainability requirement… you do not have a sustainable business model (for long) without it. Money is business nutrition.

  14. This is really about creating a whole new academic industry of Sustainability Studies to match the absurd expansion in tenured posts in climate studies; just to screw things up even more.

  15. As a holder of an MBA, why would I put my equity and capital upfront and risk it all just to be ‘sustainable’? Just whose purpose am I serving here and knowing that I would be wasting my time in pursuit of profit, why even bother trying at all? Imagine if all business like minded person decided to not spend or close shop because it’s not worth it? The economy would be completely ####ed and you can kiss goodbye to a cohesive functioning society as we know it.

    • Ah yes but with the economic crash and the destruction of the capitalist society comes the inevitable mass starvation and depopulation of the world. A communist/environmentalist dream come true. People living in huts in tune with nature with no strife, no worries, no problems. The dream come true, we will all love each other and mother nature will provide everything we need, No one will have reason to fight over resources and we will all get along and simply discuss our issues away with each and everyone of us happy to do for others first and life will be wonderful again just like it was millions of years ago. See Craig now you should understand why you should think about sustainability first and not silly profits.

  16. Cola consumption in the US, home of the fattest people on earth, with attendant sugar consumption, is at a 30 year low.
    It looks as if the climate change we are to fear is on a win win path, controlling addictive caffeine and sugar consumption while at the same time slowing down Santa Claus, a Coca Cola product.

    http://fortune.com/2016/03/29/soda-sales-drop-11th-year/
    The biggest problem for business is honesty in dealings, particularly with the vulnerable, neurotic, easily led and exploitable.
    The climate change debate is now at a stage where business leaders and educators need to look carefully at the difference between projections of climate and reality before telling students that things are bad for their futures.
    The credibility gap just keeps widening.
    What Loyola and all Jesuit institutions need to train are ‘Men for Others’,students who want to assist their clients in any way possible, so become people oriented.
    They need to be level headed, fair and competent.
    Those are the leadership skills needed.
    Were Loyola to at least offer a ‘sustainability’ course it needs a ‘red team’ and real debate.
    Make it a realistic course and it won’t be ignored as an option.
    Teach them how to think.
    Make it compulsory and students will attend and serve up what the lecturer wants.

    • There are whole unprofitable systems, based on Marxism. They sustain themselves, look at Cuba and Venezuela. I wonder why the esteemed Professor is based in Chicago, not Caracas or Havana.

      • I’ve always wondered why those people who are most enthusiastic about communism never show any interest in moving to a place where they actually have communism.

  17. Business should be about maximizing profit but sustainability has them spooked.
    Sustainability is the powerful all new mirage, ghost, and imaginary comfort blanket of good intentions, all rolled into one, that every modern business now needs.

    Business has to follow the bottom line but if push comes to shove then we at United Narnia offer hyper-imagineered positive outcomes with Narnianian Sustainability Endeavors Dept., and Chronycles of Narnia Publishing.

    ‘Narnianian Sustainability Endeavors Dept. International™’ has all good intentions pre-hyper-imagineered for you, and just awaiting your bespoke specification for our prefabricators seamlessly nail together.
    And when you sign-up with Narnianian Sustainability Endeavors Dept. you will be automatically recorded and published in our Chronycles of Narnia at no extra expense! So, please sign-up now for all the sustainability blather and free anal annual ring.

    Call today at UN.org

    Narnianian Sustainability Endeavors Dept. International™ is owed by United Narnia and is part of the Goresorosclinton International family of inbred companies.

  18. Eric Worrall:

    It seems that somebody should inform Chicago’s Loyola University that the sustainability of a business is determined by its profitability and nothing else. Profitable businesses make money so grow and unprofitable businesses cease to exist.

    Circumstances constantly change so long-term businesses maintain their profitability by adjusting to alterations of supplies and/or demands. Other businesses come into being and close as circumstances change to permit or remove their profitability. Any “potential climate change challenges” are merely potential causes of alterations of supplies and demands.

    Providing Loyola University with this elementary economic information would remove all reason for the university to provide the course operated by Prof Landrum so the university could free her to do something more useful such as flipping burgers.

    Richard

    • Great points.

      It’s very simple. Investors won’t invest in businesses that put sustainability (particularly this warped version of sustainability) before profit.

      Why does the world increasingly remind me of the period in Harry Potter when Dolores Umbridge was the emissary of the Ministry of Magic?

      • Curious George:

        Guns don’t enable business profits except for organised crime. The Left is not in favour of organised crime: libertarians (e.g. Al Capone, the Kray twins, etc.) practice it.

        Richard

  19. “Sustainable” is a very sketchy and vague concept when applied to something other than the
    fish industry. It has no logical connection to CO2 emissions and one can argue that it is meaningless in a field where technology is involved. It also has no value economically as there are no “sustainable” power plants : solar panels die of old age at an early age, as do windmills. So
    the economic argument in favor of wind/solar due to the sustainability of wind and sun makes no sense when the “unsustainable” oil and natural gas reserves outlast the solar panels and windmills
    and produce far cheaper energy – money saved that could be used for improving the human condition. And in the case of uranium/Thorium nuclear reactors, their fuel source will not be depleted in any foreseeable future, so how can a “sustainable” fuel source have any advantage
    here either, even disregarding economics? A nuclear reactor has a sustained lifespan at least three times longer than a solar panel or wind turbine’s practical lifespan. And its geographical environmental footprint is thousands of times smaller than equivalent solar/wind farms. So geographically, solar/wind does nor sustain our land area even remotely as well as nuclear (or gas or coal) plants. Wind/solar will require more and more land area as energy requirements increase, while adding additional nuclear/coal/gas power plants require very little additional land area, sometimes none at all, when added to existing plants. Environmental extremists toss around “sustainable” as if it were some Holy Grail, but can’t even make a case for prefering it to “unsustainable” power sources, from any viewpoint.

  20. One of the foundations of sustainability is doing more with less. That is already happening. Exhibit A is the smart phone.

    The digital revolution isn’t just introducing novel ways to amuse ourselves, it’s rapidly displacing a wide variety of “revenue-generating” products and services: typewriters, newspapers, magazines, books, maps, cameras, film development, camcorders, yellow pages, music players, VCRs and DVD players, encyclopedias, landline telephones, television and radio broadcasts, calendars, address books, clocks and watches, calculators, travel agents, travelers checks, and so forth. link

    The process is called ephemeralization or dematerialization. Here’s an interesting example:

    Many manufacturing processes start with a block of metal, which is then cut down by machines to produce a final component. As a result, a 1-tonne aircraft engine may be manufactured from about 6.5 tonnes of metal. The opportunities to dematerialise using 3D printing are therefore considerable, as material usage could be cut by more than 80%. link

    We are moving toward sustainability naturally. The perverse thing is that, if we bork the economy by imposing ‘sustainability’, we will become less sustainable. The technological innovation we need to improve sustainability requires a healthy economy.

    • You are confusing innovation, which is laser-focused on profitability, with “Sustainability”, which is an ideology rooted in Ehrlichian nonsense, with the added idiotic notion that we should “save energy” because it’s good for “the planet” (or something).

      • You are confusing innovation, … with “Sustainability” …

        Not really. Erlich and the Club of Rome have it wrong. A long time ago the Malthusians predicted that we would deplete our resources and civilization would collapse. Buckminster Fuller pointed out that it wasn’t going to happen. Every time we run out of a material we find a way to use something else. He also pointed out that we can build almost everything using less material.

        Sustainable just means we can keep going. People like David Suzuki would have us believe that it has some mystical deeper meaning. They’re wrong.

        Malthus was wrong because he didn’t account for the fact that the free market economy adapts to changing conditions. Suzuki is wrong because he doesn’t account for the fact that a command economy doesn’t adapt and eventually comes crashing down around its own ears.

    • commieBob April 21, 2017 at 3:47 am

      Oh, and it will get better wait until Three D printers are common in the average house hold. Need a replacement widget? just program it and print. Want a custom door knocker – design it program it and print.

      I will probably be investing in one for my boys to learn on in the near future.

      michael

      • I fully agree with getting a 3d printer for the kids. Just banging out stuff that they download isn’t real educational. On the other hand, if you can get the kids using 3d modelling software, you’re giving them a real leg up.

        Here’s a link to some free software. I haven’t used any of it so you’re on your own. Being free means you can try several programs. Have fun!

        My favorite 3d printer fail was the guy who printed a new handle for his espresso pot. It melted immediately. :-) link Every affordable 3d printer I am aware of prints meltable plastic. The results aren’t very strong and they melt easily. On the other hand, for building and modifying kids toys, I think cheap 3d printers are awesome.

      • I’ve read of recent attempts to make 3d printers that can work with metal. All are still in the early laboratory stages.

      • MarkW April 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

        I’ve read of recent attempts to make 3d printers that can work with metal. …

        It’s a ‘thing’ in the aircraft industry. 3d printed titanium parts are lighter, cheaper, and just as strong as conventionally machined parts. link

        Boeing is no stranger to using 3D-printed parts (it’s previously deployed them in jet engines and its space taxis), but Norsk says its products are the first approved by the FAA as structural, load-bearing components. Later this year, the company expects to get its entire manufacturing process approved, rather than each individual part, allowing it to produce even more parts for Boeing and other firms.

        Patents are expiring and 3d printing is getting cheaper. It won’t be too long before 3d printers turn up in your local machine shop.

      • About 20 years ago I read about a device for 3D printing houses. It sprayed concrete to form the walls and was jacked up as the walls got taller.

      • “MarkW April 21, 2017 at 2:11 pm”

        No, that was more a way of building tall regular structures like chimneys. Very efficient.

    • Doing more with less is called efficiency, something every company that has ever existed strives for.
      Those that don’t end up losing market share to those that do.

  21. So, what this study is saying is: “If you are a business hiring manager, DON’T HIRE ANYONE WHO GRADUATES FROM LOYOLA SCHOOL OF BUSINESS!” I am glad they made resume screening just that much easier.

    • Plus many. From an MBA not from Loyola. There are exactly two good Bschools,in Chicago: Northwestern and Chicago. Used to hire from both. Never from Loyola.

      • Working my way up to the top in government and government-influenced businesses, I ran across a number of slick suck ups. Almost without fail, the posers had the latest management book of the month displayed prominently on their desks. All the buzz words!

        Now, all the drones in government and other large bureaucracies have hopped on the climate change gravy train. That will change only when the government subsidies and mandates go away.

    • This brings back memories of my own education in a Jesuit school.
      When discussing where the leaders of the US sent their sons, in the Kennedy era, they chose universities that were not Catholic.
      It was not just the ‘Cathlophobia’ prejudice of the time, but the impression that the products of such universities were not fit to compete adequately in the modern, multicultural, world.
      Hopefully that may change.

  22. Businesses that cannot make a profit are not sustainable. Governments that steal businesses’ profits kill businesses.

    • Ronald Reagan on a role of government:
      If it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

  23. How many businesses has she run? My guess is zero. Next question, why would I want to take a course from someone with zero experience?

  24. Suicide. (What other word for killing oneself, figuratively, in business, would one choose?)

    I might also add, straight-line projections (extrapolations) into-the-future have ALWAYS worked so well too. Within out own LIFETIMES we have seen several radical changes that none except the sci-fi community foresaw or projected, like Dick Tracy’s 2-way wrist “TeeVee” …

  25. Any business (such as Wal Mart) claiming to be implementing “green” or “sustainable” practices are merely greenwashing, and do it solely for the PR value.

  26. “Climate change impacts every[thing]…. No business will be untouched.”

    If by climate change you mean the ideology of climate change, you are right. They’ll be “touched” all right. The damage caused by the ideology of climate change will cost more and do more damage to nations than actual climate change.

  27. I would expect any of her courses would have a section on how to approach and ask your parents to allow you to come back home and live in their basement.

  28. Sustainability was a useful element in the design process until these clowns came along and messed it up. They have corrupted other concepts such as resilience. Anything termed “smart” isn’t.
    I am a “GreenSmart” accredited designer but no longer rely on using the term. I can still practice “sustainability for the rest of us”, as long as I avoid saying that is what I am doing.

  29. I’d suggest that the current higher education system in the USA will face a big problem with sustainability. The system keeps getting more expensive and appears to be producing a lower quality product.

    • Speaking of which, I just came across the statistic that shows how low Vermont’s funding effort is a percent of a student’s public education bill. It’s less than 14 percent. That explains the Bernie and Hillary tactic of promising free college tuition. They want to throw it on the national debt pile where no one looks and absolve states of any funding responsibility–like Vermont.

  30. Only profit-making businesses are sustainable! If it loses money consistently, the business will eventually go bankrupt and cease to exist. Lose money, lose jobs. Make profit, gain jobs. It’s not rocket science.

  31. There’s nothing objectionable about this at all. Loyola is a private university that gets to choose its own teaching methodology and curriculum. After a few years of their graduates failing to compete with thiose of other schools, the market will deselect them as viable candidates. People will stop attending the (expensive) school. Problem solved.

  32. OT. There is a new research claiming that the 100 Ky Milankovic cycles didn’t start about 800 Ky ago but were present during the previous 6 My, however, the mystery remains since eccentricity is the weakest cycle.

    • Interesting article. Glad to see there are some scientists who are still doing real science.
      Was disappointed to see the obligatory mention of global warming though.

    • Reading the summary of their work, for the life of me I couldn’t find any mention of CO2 in their research nor findings. CO2 impacting the future Northern Hemisphere just pops up whole cloth.

  33. First they cleaned up the water…..then they cleaned up the air
    ….then realized the real money was in cleaning up the thermometers

    …the war and tax on sugar sweet drinks, boko haram and upside down So American countries, hiring illegal refugees.etc……had nothing to do with it

  34. So the “coffee study” predicts warmer temperatures AND drying in Latin America where a particular variety of coffee been is grown (arabica).

    First of all, warmer temperatures are going to create a MORE humid atmosphere, not dryer. How do these “scientists” think atmospheric moisture comes from – cold continental deserts, or warm oceanic waters? Duhhhh!

    Second of all, the climate is changing all the time anyway. If whatever changes that are in store for us result in negative impacts on some plant species, overall the effects will be positive with greater CO2 concentrations (i.e., “plant food”). If our horticulturists detect a particular negative impact on a particular cash crop, then markets will devote research funds and efforts to develop new strains of old species that are more tolerant of whatever change occurs (less moisture, or more … higher temps, or lower temps … more of this bug, or less of that bug … etc. etc. etc.).

    That’s exactly how mankind evolved technologically over the last 10 thousand years since we moved from hunting gathering by wanderers to agricultural based societies with permanent infrastructure. We evolved and adapted and commanded our world, at least, to some degree if not totally so.

    • ‘Sustainable Business Management’ is a euphemism for socialist control of the economic sector.

      Academia is a hotbed for this sort of nonsense. The UN, EU and U.S. Democratic Party have also been seduced by progressive/collectivist propaganda.

  35. Much better that business students, and all students for that matter, should learn some statistics and research methodology so that are not easily bullshitted by studies and research poorly designed and executed with propaganda as their main objective.

    • Well stated, I firmly believe in teaching and understanding the fundamental tool that allow one to evaluate claims and perform useful product.

  36. Yes Yes – less focus on legal compliance… What a joke. Obviously this person has never worked in a company of any size.

  37. In the upside-down world of Greenies, “Sustainability”, just like “climate change” mean whatever they choose it to mean, neither more, nor less.

  38. I predict that the prediction of shortages of coffee and cocoa will be as
    accurate as the predictions of drops in cereal grain production.

    Actual “long run” shortages of coffee and cocoa are likely be due to
    greatly increased demand.

  39. There is only one reason for business and that is to make money. A business school that does not focus primarily on profit is not a business school.

    • I’ve lost track of the number of liberals and populists (not that there is much difference) who have proclaimed that the only reason for companies to exist is to create jobs.
      They’ll whine about automation because it eliminates jobs and they’ll scream that government needs to pass laws to keep companies from shipping “our jobs” overseas.

  40. “This study focused on reading lists of introductory courses in the USA; cases, videos and supplemental materials were excluded”

    Apart from the question of who in his right mind takes any notice of course reading lists, this is the most egregious cherry-picking, totally ignoring actual course content.

    • I missed that. All the learning in our MBA program happens in the case studies, business background research projects, and business model role playing. The reading is just for background theory, all the real learning happens when we show them how it is applied to real-world situations. (the marketing program does show how to lie to customers without actually saying anything untrue though! you say the right meaningless words to give the customer the impression that the company cares about whatever they care about without committing the company to anything but words.)

  41. ” Sustainability” is a word that sounds all warm and fuzzy but has no real meaning. Sustainability itself is impossible because it is a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The universe tends towards disorder and entropy is always increasing. In a business sense, no company wants to be sustainable in the way that the greens want. As Schumpeter said, business is a process of creative destruction. Pepsi was not sustainable only selling soft drinks, Apple was not sustainable only selling computers, and Amazon was not sustainable only selling books.

    Every successful business is searching every day to make its products or services better, faster, cheaper. There is no such thing in the business world (or any place in the universe) that is “sustainable”

    • Absolutely right! This whole notion of sustainability is derived from the ‘Eden Myth’ embraced by modern environmentalism. This is the assumption that the planet’s biosphere was all stability and harmony until the disease of humanity ruined everything beautiful. The whole paradigm is built on this anti-science/anti-reality assumption. Anytime policy is built on false assumptions, that policy will do a lot more harm than good!

      The only constant on this Earth is change. Therefore, the key ingredient to thriving is adaptability. Attempts at sustainability will always lead to disaster! It is profoundly telling that CAGW crowd rarely even mentions adaptability, our greatest human asset, when pontificating on what we should do about potential climate change. Instead, they want to try and recreate a Garden of Eden that only existed in metaphor, and completely devoid of scientific understanding.

    • If you don’t like “sustainable”, then let’s find another word that encompasses conscientious use of resources with a definition of “value” that transcends mere monetary value.

      “Sustainability” does not have to be an evil or unrealistic word. It only becomes so, when you force it to become so.

      … just like I don’t think the word, “bias”, is a bad word. Without bias, there would be no defining categories, and the world would be even more of a fluid chaos than it is. If nothing were sustainable for any length of time, then there would be no defining, categorical boundaries, and the world, again, would be more fluid dynamic chaos than it is.

      I, therefore, do not object to the word, “sustainability”, but rather, I object to the misapplication and absurd twisting of that word into a meaning that is unsustainable.

      • Robert, real people pay real money for “value” that transcends mere monetary value. To the extent they do so voluntarily, it reflects the aggregate value of things that transcend mere monetary value to any particular society.

        To the extent real people are forced to egregiously pay for others’ notions of “value,” we have unbridled totalitarianism.

      • DF,
        But money was devised as an easy way to assign value to goods and even vague concepts. It seldon hurts do look at a benefit:cost calculation in $$ terms when one is evaluating. It is often the easiest and most precise way.
        I agree with RK. “Sustainable” and “sustainability” are easy words that have been hijacked by some intent on ways to signal their impressions of virtue. Leave the poor word alone, to lapse back into its general use.
        Geoff.

  42. Madam, Have you ever had a real job? Have you ever had any responsibility to any company’s bottom line (if you even know what that means)? Have you ever had the responsibility to any employees well being (insuring their jobs were secure)? Have you ever signed anyone’s paycheck? Have you ever had the courage to step away from the safety of your gilded tower and into the real world? The answer to these and other questions is more than likely a resounding NO. As demonstrated time and again your masquerade of communist/socialist ideology (anything green or sustainable or having anything to do with CAGW) always fails. I suggest you take a freshman high school course in biology to learn the reality that this world of does not exist without CO2, if in fact that is still being taught as you seem to be a product of our deficient education system. I find it difficult to believe that you are teaching at a business school.

  43. From the article: “Future business leaders must be equipped with the scientific understanding of how climate change is currently impacting business,”

    I would like to know that myself.

    As far as I know, human-caused climate change is not a factor impacting business because there is no evidence that the climate is being modified in any way by humans, and no natural events such as droughts or floods, etc., can be tied to human activity. Even the UN IPCC says so.

    Professor Landrum is assuming facts which are not in evidence. There is no evidence that humans are causing the climate to change. One shouldn’t base their business model on pure speculation, which is what CAGW is.

    Professor Landrum is a True Believer promoting the CAGW gospel.

    • If global warming was going to impact any industry, it would be the insurance industry.
      Warren Buffet recently put out a statement saying that to date there has been no such impact and he’s a pretty strong warmist.

  44. All lefty needs to do is show us a business that emits nothing, uses nothing, a place where the janitor and the C.E.O. have income equality, and doesn’t try to “make a profit” and oh yeah actually exists. Maybe the manufacturer of unicorn rainbows.

  45. Has not Professor Landrum already witnessed a country without fossil fuel use? They’re poor and needy. These poor and needy want to be taught how to use fossil fuels so that they can leave poor and needy behind.

    What, pray tell, is the business model, for a country, without fossil fuels? The moon?

  46. If sustainability is mandatory for business schools, should free market studies be mandatory for environmental studies?

  47. See this for what it is: Another ‘cat’s paw’, exhorting the socialist screed.

    Jbird (above, April 21, 2017 at 7:28 am) accurately refutes her false economics:
    “Without profit, a business is unsustainable.”

    Similarly, her false assertions that ‘carbon’ must be constrained is refuted:
    “Without abundant carbon, Life on Earth itself is unsustainable.”

    When the planetary ‘carbon budget’ approached 150ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, all plant and animal life struggled for survival. When atmospheric CO2 exceeded 2000ppm, plant and animal life flourished in abundance. Life demands and depends on abundant ‘carbon’, in the form of atmospheric CO2. The ‘sustainability’ of Life is entirely dependent on abundant atmospheric CO2! At a modest 400ppm, both paleontology and modern plant growth studies affirm that ‘carbon’ does not need to be constrained or in any way limited.

  48. First, sustainable is not a definable term, so teaching it is impossible. I also assume slavery will be reinstituted since not making money means people have to work for free and they generally do not do that without being forced to do so.

  49. Loyola doesn’t sound like much of a place for learning, either practical things or theoretical. In the long no process is sustainable. This is so obvious that I am wondering about the validity of IQ tests that these so-called top level schools employ as faculty, or recruit as students.

    No matter what the process, it takes work (foot-pounds, energy, money) for the process to yield desirable results. At some point it becomes undesirable to spend additional resources on a business of process because it is no longer profitable. All processes adherer to this simple truth. Nothing is absolutely sustainable.

    Think of the schools that are graduating business majors that concentrate on management and making a profit. It may be that the gene pool among some business schools has run its course, and it’s time to hire the most excellent state university graduates.

    • Loyola is definitely a place of learning.
      It is very high up on Business Studies in the USA.
      Things must have changed since the Kennedy era.
      https://www.forbes.com/colleges/university-of-notre-dame/
      Who knows what sustainability means in the US context.
      Perhaps it means reliable cheap gas powered despatchable electricity, recycling programs and work for the people rather than exporting labour intensive industry to somewhere else.

  50. A business exists to create income/wealth for its owner. As long as my business generates a profit, I’ll keep it running. That’s sustainability. When the business can’t carry (“sustain”) itself, eventually it folds.

  51. Ideally business is about maximizing profit while providing goods and services to people in a competitive market where others are doing the same.

    They do this while keeping within the rules established by the government (i.e. collusion on pricing, selling dangerous materials, poisoning foods, etc).

    The problem today is mostly that businesses want the government to legislate them a monopoly (barrier to entry too high for small companies) and the revolving door between large corporations and government departments (congress, FDA, USDA, EPA) smacks of outright bribery and payoffs.

    If they think that climate change is the problem well there is no hope for them. Wait until the next little ice age hits (heaven help us all if our interglacial ends) then you will see the real impact of negative climate change as the growing season shrinks and the northern hemisphere produces less and less.

  52. Just another free loader jumping on the Climate Change/sustainability bandwagon to get some attention. And see….. they did! MSM is happy to report about them, they’re happy with the attention, and I’m sure it gives them a warm fuzzy that they’re doing something to save the world.

  53. It’s right there in her title: “Professor of Sustainable Business.” When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  54. Professor Landrum of Chicago’s Loyola University has a point, but is on the wrong track.

    ALL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS should be required to take a sustainability course:

    “Sustainability (or lack thereof) as it relates to government and education systems & programs”

  55. Obama told business owners “You didn’t build that. Someone else made that happen.” So what sustainability are business owners to be responsible for?

  56. Agree with your main objection. At university we had two mandatory courses for incoming freshman. Diversity and Critical Thinking. Diversity was a complete joke. Run by a history prof who spent most sessions talking about the failure of his marriage or moving from Mississippi to California to discover real racism. He also bragged about his power to help failing minority students. Students were completely disengaged and bored.

    Critical Thinking was taught by an openly Marxist prof with a man crush on Noam Chomsky. Nothing critical ever happened in that thinking free zone. It was straight indoctrination. Students suffered through it.

    I scored A in both classes just by attending and pretending to listen. Leftists always go to main force when their product isn’t selling. Something in their DNA or whatever. Not really important to know why. Just have to keep slapping them down.

  57. Whenever I read an article like this, I like to take one claim and follow the links provided. For this one, I chose the Starbucks coffee shortage issue. Here’s what I found:

    “If temperatures warm at expected rates, 80 percent of land in parts of Brazil and Central America currently used to grow the most popular type of coffee, Arabica, will become unsuitable to the crop by 2050, according to research by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

    “…decline is predicted…buyers could very well be forced…”

    And then this: “Rising average temperatures in many of these countries have already begun to shrink coffee farmers’ yields.”

    OK, and actual, apparently data-backed claim. Following that link took me to this paper:

    “Coffea arabica yields decline in Tanzania due to climate change: Global implications”

    “Highlights
    • Climate trends in the Coffea arabica growing regions of Tanzania are investigated.
    • Substantial increases in all three temperature variables (Tmin, Tmax, Tmean) are found.
    • Minimum temperatures have substantial influence on coffee yields.”

    So, data is presented. Let’s see it.

    “Based on downscaled climate models, Tanzania is projected…”

    “…there has been increased attention on the substantial rise in night-time (minimum) temperatures and the effect these have on tropical crops, particularly in India and south-east Asia..”

    “… a global scale, minimum temperatures have increased about twice as fast as maximum temperatures”

    Links are provided, ostensibly for these articles, but all the links actually point back to the article I’m reading. Is this a new trend in providing references? However, a helpful red-tinted overlay of Tanzania shows the projected temperature increases in the country by 2050, with no supporting reference.

    Then there’s this:

    ” there is still very little evidence that the observed changes and variability in climate patterns over recent decades have already impacted coffee production globally and particularly in East Africa. This is largely due to the fact that smallholder production systems in East Africa are data poor.” (italics mine)

    Pay attention kids — this is how one admits you have no data on your topic in a peer-reviewed paper. Then the authors slide this one by:

    “…several global change studies are based on interpolated climate data, such as the global gridded datasets from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/). However, for some countries and regions, including the Tanzanian highlands, the number of stations used for interpolations is minimal.”

    Don’t let a lack of data on either the coffee production or temperature trends stop you from writing a good paper. Finally they get to the point:

    “The objective of our study is to quantify the impact of climate change on Tanzania’s arabica coffee production.”

    …with “data poor” coffee production data and “minimal” temperature data. But this doesn’t stop the authors from presenting temperature data with three decimal places.

    Finally, we are presented with this graph of coffee production, showing the decreased trend since 1976 or so. But there is something odd about it. After a big step down from 1993-1995, the trend has been up, with a lot of variance.

    To sum up: in a article purporting to show the loss of coffee bean production in Tanzania, the authors admit they have “minimal” temperature data, the bean production records are “data poor,” the biggest issue is higher nighttime minimum temperatures — an UHI signpost, if ever there was — and sure enough, the weather stations are in urban areas at the MET offices. Finally, the production trend graph showing nothing but increase since 1995 — the last 22 years.

    What was the problem again?

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