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Global project launched to help ESG-driven businesses become more profitable

A team of world-leading experts in business transformation is teaming up to empower environmental, social and governance (ESG) driven businesses to thrive more by making sustainability even more profitable through a global project funded by the British Council.

ESG investment graphic of hands on a computer with ESG logos
ESG can become a driving force for profitability

Leading the charge is the Centre for Business and Industry Transformation (CBIT), at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University. The Centre is joining forces with Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), one of the top-50 ranked universities in the world, and industrial partner Think ESG, a top ESG auditing company in Hong Kong, serving listed companies under the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

As part of a £160,000 grant, this disruptive team is poised to change the “norm” by co-delivering a series of workshops with business leaders and co-creating and testing a range of More Sustainable More Profitable (MoSMoP) business models. The team will develop a toolbox and manuals to guide businesses through iteratively improve their existing business models to be MoSMoP, as well as providing a foundation for performance benchmarking.

The CBIT team, which is responsible for the UK’S top ranked entrepreneurship course, will bring its educational and research best practice into a range of co-creative workshops internationally, including one in-person workshop in the UK and one in-person workshop in China run by SJTU. A further three collaborative workshops will be delivered online. Topics will include competence mapping for business sustainability, creating new value proposition, and business model innovation.

The project takes place over two years and up to 30 businesses – located in the UK, China and globally - will be chosen via an application process which seeks out organisations operating in the sustainability industry and leading, or looking to lead, transformation in this area, along with natural innovators who want to be more involved in sustainability.

Xiao Ma
Professor Xiao Ma

Xiao Ma, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at NBS and director of CBIT, is an internationally recognised thought-leader and educator in entrepreneurship, business transformation, and digital economy.

He said: “Typically, ESG criteria and standards are viewed as a ‘compliance’ issue and are only addressed from the supply-side of the business. However, ESG can also be a profit-making force if it is treated as a demand-side requirement. By incentivising firms to proactively innovate and develop more sustainable offerings with better profit margins, ESG can become a driving force for profitability.

“Targeting leading businesses with a strong ESG drive, the MosMop workshops will enable us to support these businesses in co-creating and testing new business and economic models that align with sustainability goals. This approach will ultimately result in new products / services and business models to empower greater profitability for these businesses, as they better meet the demand for more sustainable offerings.”

CBIT has a proven history in business transformation. The Centre runs an established and reputable venture builder which supports innovative and sustainable start-ups, and also boasts a team of researchers with expertise in the area of sustainability. Their combined expertise will allow them to co-develop new business models with businesses.

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    About Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Business School (NBS) at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is a leader in experiential learning and personalisation of business, management and economics education and research, combining academic excellence with positive impact on people, business and society.  NBS has an unrivalled level of engagement with business, public and voluntary organisations. With more than 8,500 students, NBS is also one of UK’s largest business schools.

    NBS is Quadruple+ Accredited by EQUIS, AACSB, EFMD BA for International Business, which are globally recognised hallmarks of excellence and quality for business education. NBS is also accredited by Small Business Charter, providing support and development for SMEs. The school is also a PRME Champion and held up as an exemplar and beacon by the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was ranked second best university in the UK in the Uni Compare Top 100 rankings (2021/2022). It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with nearly 39,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is ranked 2nd most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Global project launched to help ESG-driven businesses become more profitable

Published on 22 March 2023
  • Category: Press office; Nottingham Business School

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