Michigan Business Sustainability Roundtable

MBSR

The MBSR

The Michigan Business Sustainability Roundtable was created to build an equitable and socially and environmentally sustainable State of Michigan through the power of business. The group includes senior business leaders who are committed to working toward transformational change in the social and environmental performance of their companies, their industries and the State of Michigan.

The need for action now

As the United States seeks to reposition itself as a key player in fighting the climate crisis, businesses have much to gain from driving sustainability in their operations and even more to lose if they stand idle. Coupled with this call to business climate action is the imperative to do so in a just and equitable way. Business leaders, employees and social justice advocates are increasingly asking what role their companies play in advancing social justice. Customers are demanding that businesses wield their influence to address both environmental and social impacts of climate change.

How can we enable collective action?

While each business faces unique challenges in setting—and achieving—ambitious sustainability goals, shared roadblocks and pain points also affect many companies and industries. Neglected transportation, water and communications infrastructure; outdated or counterproductive policies; and limited access to renewable energy options are examples of barriers that affect not just individual businesses or industries but also entire economies.

By identifying and tackling these common challenges, companies that are committed to achieving meaningful, positive change can unlock significant potential. With the Erb Institute’s long history of teaching, research and engagement toward enabling sustainability in business, the institute is embracing a new approach that aims to harness individual businesses’ efforts to enable greater collective action.

Adopting a place-based approach, the Erb Institute convened the Michigan Business Sustainability Roundtable (MBSR), a group of senior-level sustainability leaders from some of Michigan’s most influential and innovative companies. These individuals represent companies from the automotive, food, agriculture, manufacturing and financial sectors, among others. They are rich in talent and experience, and they are uniquely positioned to push Michigan toward greater and more sustainable environmental, social and economic prosperity.

As the MBSR’s convening entity, the institute provides an established platform, comprehensive research and the objective facilitation needed to advance the group’s agenda. Erb works closely with individual MBSR members and the collective group to articulate shared objectives and craft the roundtable’s work plans. The institute leverages its faculty, exceptional graduate and undergraduate students, and extensive alumni and partner networks to inform the group’s direction.

As the MBSR’s convening entity, the institute provides an established platform, comprehensive research and the objective facilitation needed to advance the group’s agenda. Erb works closely with individual MBSR members and the collective group to articulate shared objectives and craft the roundtable’s work plans. The institute leverages its faculty, exceptional graduate and undergraduate students, and extensive alumni and partner networks to inform the group’s direction.

MBSR Reports

In support of the MBSR, the Erb Institute is producing several internal and external research reports and landscape assessments. External reports include:

The MBSR’s work is:
 

  • driven by justice

  • Michigan-centric

  • externally focused

  • powered by collective action

  • informed by research

Who is the MBSR?
Representation by Sector

The MBSR comprises senior sustainability leaders from companies headquartered in or with a large presence in Michigan, including:

Mobility

Ford Motor Company

Manufacturing

Whirlpool
Principle Business Enterprises

Food & Agriculture

Meijer

Healthcare

Henry Ford Health System

Financial Services

Comerica

Apparel

Carhartt

Real Estate

Bedrock Real Estate Services

Energy

Consumers Energy
DTE Energy
Walker-Miller Energy Services

Packaging

Amcor

Have questions?

Contact

Melissa Zaksek

Research & Thought Leadership Manager

mzaksek@umich.edu

As the Research and Thought Leadership Manager for the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, Melissa works to advance the institute’s research agenda by building new partnerships with company and academic thought leaders and developing and implementing research initiatives that addresses business’s most pressing business sustainability challenges.

With a background in collaborative science, resource management and policy, and structured decision-making, she is deeply committed to building and supporting collaborative efforts that promote environmental, social and economic sustainability. Melissa has extensive experience engaging with diverse stakeholder groups, including scientists; federal, tribal, state and municipal governments; conservation, stewardship and industry organizations; and community groups.