Dozens of multilateral meetings have been focused on making the planet a more sustainable and equitable place, but, at the same time, we have yet to see the kind of transformational change that many of us are hoping for—and that the world so desperately needs. Here at Erb, we’re rolling out an ambitious new research and thought leadership plan, and we’re developing exciting new opportunities for students from across the University of Michigan campus. And, above all, we’re listening for questions and probing for answers so that we can lead the conversation on business and sustainability for years to come.


The Erb Institute’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan aims to prepare business leaders with the practical tools and professional wisdom to get things done for sustainability in companies large and small.


A big, bold mission deserves an audacious strategy! In 2015, Erb launched its Strategic Plan 2015-20, with our sights raised high: To cultivate bold business leaders who adeptly transform companies, industries and entire economies for systemic sustainability.

Global Change

Erb Institute researchers are studying the role that businesses may play in reducing the risks society faces from global environmental change. Here, our focus is intentionally broad, and it includes issues such as energy and climate change, water security, land use and ecosystem services.

Corporate Governance

Today’s companies are complex, global systems of owned operations, contracted value chains and often many tiers of subcontracted suppliers. We aim to understand how corporate culture, investment and decision-making strategies, radical transparency and the ever-present risks of corruption affect performance.

Conscious Consumption

We examine the consumer’s role in advancing sustainability, particularly in the realm of purchasing decisions, and how they may be better informed in the interest of greater social and environmental good.

Human Development

Erb Institute researchers are looking closely at the role the private sector can play in turning the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals—which include social, environmental and economic progress—into reality.


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