Our Goals

Our vision, mission, goals, and work plan.

The Center aligns with Smeal’s vision to be one of the very best business schools in the world, producing leading-edge business research brought to life in active learning environments by an outstanding faculty, and preparing graduates for productive careers in business. 

The Center is oriented toward the business problems of scaling up technological solutions, promoting and strategically deploying new products and services, and devising a regulatory framework that fosters sustainability. In these areas, it will collaborate with Penn State entities such as the Sustainability Institute and the Institutes of Energy and the Environment to provide a unique innovation ecosystem for sustainable business.  


Sustainability is integral to all business practice and education.


To accelerate the integration of sustainability into business.

We achieve our mission through

  • inspiring and educating future leaders,
  • advancing and disseminating research and best practice,
  • engaging and equipping businesses.

What we mean by sustainability

Smeal defines business sustainability as “the way companies manage financial, social, and environmental risks and opportunities to ensure resiliency over time: markets, communities, and businesses that thrive because they are intimately connected to healthy economic, social, and environmental systems.”

Services and Programs

The Center for the Business of Sustainability will provide programs and services for companies, faculty, and students, including:

  • For companies: sustainability solutions research, executive education, student-industry projects, and access to talent
  • For faculty: access to industry expertise and data, an active community of scholars; plus cases, simulations and other teaching resources for classroom use
  • For students and alumni: online and residential courses, student-industry projects, networking opportunities, internships, and a mentoring program 


To underscore Smeal’s belief that sustainability is integral to all business practice and education, it has set a number of ambitious goals it has titled 2030 Vision. Those goals include:

  • 30 peer-reviewed publications advancing scholarship in top academic and management journals

  • 3,000 students have taken the elective undergraduate two-piece sequence in sustainability or pursued our graduate studies program in sustainable business

  • 30,000 undergraduates have taken a required course in sustainability and responsible leadership

  • 300,000 business students per year in the U.S. are receiving business education for sustainability


The Center is committed to upholding the Penn State Values and the Smeal Honor Code which inspires us to the highest ethical standards.  In addition, we have our own set of values that guide and inform our work.

We believe…

Sustainability is built on fundamentals

Sustainable business strategies and practices must be built on strong business fundamentals applied in a fundamentally different way.

Sustainability is achieved through diversity

Diversity and inclusion greatly enhance organizational capabilities to understand and manage sustainability risks and opportunities.

Sustainability must be in the ingredients, not just the icing

Sustainability is most effective when built in from the beginning, not just as the “icing” applied at the end.

Sustainability is about results, not just methods

We focus on business outcomes and social impact, not on trendy means and methods.

Sustainability is a team sport

Enduring solutions are inherently cross-functional, cross-disciplinary and require multi-stakeholder approaches.

Great education and research require an inclusive and nonpartisan environment

The Center serves as a neutral convener of thought and advanced practices.