Wayne Visser

Wayne Visser
Antwerp Management School · Sustainable Transformation Lab

PhD

About

76
Publications
174,274
Reads
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3,093
Citations
Introduction
Prof. Dr Wayne Visser holds the Chair in Sustainable Transformation and is Professor of Integrated Value at Antwerp Management School. He is also Fellow of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is the author of 28 books – including The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise and The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business. He has published over 320 chapters, articles and reports and is a guest columnist for The Huffington Post and The Guardian.
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - present
Antwerp Management School
Position
  • Chair
January 2013 - May 2017
University of Pretoria
Position
  • Professor
January 2006 - present
University of Cambridge
Position
  • Fellow

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Despite allusions to systemic elements in the conception of innovation more generally, and sustainable innovation in particular, the literature generally fails to capture many of the insights that systems science can bring to our understanding of these subjects. This concept paper elaborates five principles of integrated innovation—diversity, aspir...
Article
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But just because something is innovative doesn’t necessarily make it good. We need to ask: innovation for what purpose? What higher goal does innovation serve? One way to ensure meaningful innovation is to reframe the approach in terms of creating integrated value. This begins with a systemic understanding of our problems, as five forces of fragmen...
Article
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Integrated value as a concept is described in more detail in another paper. The question then arises, how can we achieve integrated value in practice? One approach is to apply the 7 facets of integrated value management (IVM), which are summarized in this paper, including: 1. Rethinking Patterns – by integrating systems thinking 2. Re-aligning Par...
Article
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Resilience can be defined as “the capability and ability of an element to return to a stable state after a disruption”. Resilience is a function of complex systems and can be applied at multiple levels, such as ecosystems, society, communities, organizations and individuals. For the purpose of our applied research, we are interested in deriving and...
Article
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The recent death of Kofi Annan gives me pause to think about the nature of leadership – and especially what makes one leader stand out, as Annan clearly did. After all, there would not be any SDGs if it were not for Annan’s leadership on setting up the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) that preceded them. So what makes a leader good, or inspiring...
Article
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The two questions I have been asked most since I began developing the theory of integrated value (IV) in 2014 are: 1.How is this different to Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s concept of shared value? (popularised inHarvard Business Review in 2011) 2.And does this replace your CSR 2.0 model (popularised in my books The Age of Responsibility and CSR...
Article
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Resumo: Este artigo é baseado na premissa de que a Responsabilidade Social Corporativa (RSC) como sistema ético, de governança e negócios falhou e é necessário ser substituído por uma nova abordagem-RSC 2.0. Mudar da RSC 1.0 para RSC 2.0 requer a adoção de cinco novos princípios-criatividade, escalabilidade, capacidade de resposta, "glocalidade" e...
Chapter
In the context of a plethora of worsening social, environmental and ethical negative conditions often associated with economic growth and industrial activity, Integrated Value is proposed as a conceptual and practical framework for business to respond credibly and effectively as a force for innovation and solutions. In order to do so, the chapter b...
Article
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After more than 30 years of sustainable development, the world is still struggling to address many social and environmental challenges - now most notably through the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Given the laudable efforts by governments, businesses and civil society over the past few decades, we have to ask why so many of these...
Article
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The business response does not add up to the societal need; the scale of the solution does not fit the scale of the problem. And that is quite simply because the short-term oriented, shareholder-driven capitalist system itself needs to be reformed. There are four main keys to this fundamental societal transformation: positive futures, integrated va...
Article
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Integrated value has not emerged in a vacuum. It acknowledges and builds on many other pioneering concepts that have come before it, such as Ed Freeman’s stakeholder value (1984), Jed Emerson’s blended value (2000), Stuart Hart’s sustainable value (2011) and Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s shared value (2011). Yet it is also distinct from these, i...
Article
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In the context of a plethora of worsening social, environmental and ethical negative conditions often associated with economic growth and industrial activity, I am proposing Integrated Value as a conceptual and practical framework for business to respond credibly and effectively as a force for innovation and solutions. In order to do so, I begin by...
Article
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Integrated value is, I believe, the next evolution on the long and winding path describing business’s wider role in society, which began with corporate philanthropy (in the 1870s, if not before) and corporate social responsibility (since the 1930s), and has, along the way, incorporated concepts and practices like business ethics, environmental mana...
Article
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Business leaders may argue – and not without justification – that financial performance is what the market demands and what their share price and job security depends on. But the market is changing. As ‘non-financial’ issues like resource security, climate change, human rights and corruption become more serious global problems, they become, to use...
Article
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As systems scientists remind us, any complex system exists in a state of dynamic equilibrium, which, if sufficiently disrupted will either break through to a higher state of integration, or break down into a lower state of fragmentation. In our world today, we feel the tension between the tendency towards integration and the counter-tendency toward...
Article
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In times of crisis, new leaders emerge. And make no mistake, we are in such a time of crisis right now-a time of danger and opportunity, as the Chinese pictogram for 'crisis' would characterise it. We face a perfect storm of economic crises, humanitarian crises and ecological crises. The best leaders will be those who can help us survive and thrive...
Article
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We are at a unique moment in history, when five economic trends (the resilience, digital, access, circular and wellbeing economies) are coming together into a Nexus Economy that is rapidly transforming our world for the better. Each of these economic trends have spawned an aligned business strategy (safe, smart, shared, sustainable and satisfying)...
Article
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In September 2016, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced that we could have human missions to Mars as soon as 2022. One side effect – apart from pushing the frontiers of space travel – is that it will challenge us to design and perfect various systems of sustainable production. The reason is quite simple: Mars is a barren, hostile planet, where all li...
Article
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Extracted from a dialogue with Masters students from the University of Waterloo, Canada, on the topics of sustainable business and transformational change.
Article
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I recently watched two sustainability documentaries – Cowspiracy, about the devastating environmental impacts of the agricultural industry and our meat-and-dairy intensive diets, and Before the Flood, Leonard Di Caprio’s impassioned plea for us to realise the seriousness of climate change and take urgent action. Both films got me thinking about why...
Chapter
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Sustainable Frontiers throws down the gauntlet to business to step up and be the catalyst for a sustainable future. It presents eight keys to unlocking transformational change – through leadership, enterprise, innovation, transparency, engagement, responsibility, integration and future-fitness. Far from being another tame review of corporate social...
Book
Sustainable Frontiers throws down the gauntlet to business to step up and be the catalyst for a sustainable future. It presents eight keys to unlocking transformational change – through leadership, enterprise, innovation, transparency, engagement, responsibility, integration and future-fitness. Far from being another tame review of corporate social...
Book
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Since 2009, CSR International has been identifying and summarising the best research on corporate sustainability, social responsibility and business ethics and sharing it through monthly Research Digests. Now, for the first time, we are bringing together all of the research summaries since 2009 into three thematic volumes: on Governance, Environmen...
Book
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In this Compendium, CSR International has compiled summaries of the best research on corporate sustainability, social responsibility and business ethics since 2009. Volume 2 on Environment profiles over 500 research publications between 2009 and 2014 – including practitioner reports, market surveys and academic papers – from over 80 authors and mor...
Book
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In this Compendium, CSR International has compiled summaries of the best research on corporate sustainability, social responsibility and business ethics since 2009. Volume 3 on Society profiles over 400 research publications between 2009 and 2014 – including practitioner reports, market surveys and academic papers – from over 180 authors and more 2...
Article
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Integrated Value Creation, or IVC, is an important evolution of the corporate responsibility and sustainability movement. It combines many of the ideas and practices already in circulation - like corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and creating shared value (CSV) - but signals some important shifts, especially by focusing on integ...
Article
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Creating Integrated Value, or CIV, is an important evolution of the corporate responsibility and sustainability movement. It combines many of the ideas and practices already in circulation -like corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and creating shared value (CSV) -but signals some important shifts, especially by focusing on integra...
Chapter
Die Empfänglichkeit der CSR 2.0 geht über die traditionellen Partnerschaften und CSO Effektivität hinaus. Es geht auch um innovative Wege der Zusammenarbeit. Dieser Artikel beschreibt einige Web 2.0 inspirierte Experimente, die nachhaltige und verantwortliche Lösungen der Öffentlichkeit vorstellen. Ein solches Experiment ist beispielsweise die so g...
Book
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In 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next 40 Years (Chelsea Green, 2012), Jorgen Randers draws on his own experience in the sustainability area, global forecasting tools, and the predictions – included in the book as 'Glimpses' – of more than thirty leading scientists, economists, futurists, and other thinkers to guide us through the future he feels...
Article
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The book examines the evolution and current state of corporate social responsibility (CSR), using a five-stage maturity model: defensive, charitable, promotional, strategic and transformative CSR. The first four stages are dubbed CSR 1.0 and characterise most current CSR practice, while the fifth stage is named CSR 2.0 (also transformative or syste...
Book
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Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility (CSR) – incorporating corporate responsibility, sustainable development, business ethics, corporate citizenship, business & society and corporate governance – has become a widely taught subject in business schools and practiced in companies around the world. Presented here is a comprehensive textbook that i...
Article
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Taking Tapscott and Williams’ four principles (openness, peering, sharing and acting globally), plus another principle derived from Anderson’s ‘long tail’ concept (mass customization), the article examines he future of business through a Web 2.0 lens, identifying 5 principles and 10 practices.
Article
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This paper argues that CSR, as a business, governance and ethics system, has failed. This assumes that success or failure is measured in terms of the net impact (positive or negative) of business on society and the environment. The paper contends that a different kind of CSR is needed if we are to reverse the current direction of many of the world’...
Article
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Wayne Visser’s CSR 2.0 Model provides a compelling vision of how business can create transformative improvements in society and the environment. Otto Scharmer’s Theory U describes how profound personal and collective change really happens. This paper explores how these two conceptual approaches can be aligned, thus providing insights into how to cr...
Book
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Business operates at the frontiers of society – seeking out new territories to explore and exploit, imagining fresh new ways to meet age old needs, innovating the artefacts that become the legacy of civilisations, reinventing the rituals which shape acceptable social behaviour, and changing the way we spend our precious time. But what happens when...
Article
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The paper aims to create a clearer understanding of the nature of sustainability leadership and how it can contribute to transformational change. It does this by locating sustainability within the leadership literature, defining the concept of sustainability leadership, and presenting a model of sustainability leadership in practice. The model was...
Article
A synopsis of the key strategic developments in corporate responsibility around the globe over the previous quarter.
Chapter
Full-text available
Gordon Gekko's words, although spoken by a fictitious Hollywood character, captures the spirit of a very real age: the Age of Greed. This was an age that, in my view, began when the first financial derivatives were traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 1972 and ended (we hope) with Lehman Brothers' collapse in 2008. It was a time when ‘greed...
Article
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This article argues that CSR, as a business, governance and ethics system, has failed. This assumes that success or failure is measured in terms of the net impact (positive or negative) of business on society and the environment. Hence, we need a different kind of CSR if we are to reverse the current direction of many of the world’s most pressing s...
Article
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Over the past few years, in response to these global challenges and opportunities, we have seen more and more evidence of CSR leadership emerging, albeit not nearly enough. In order to better understand what makes these leaders effective catalysts for positive change, I have been conducting research with the University of Cambridge Programme for Su...
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that CSR, as a business, governance and ethics system, has failed. This assumes that success or failure is measured in terms of the net impact (positive or negative) of business on society and the environment. The paper contends that a different kind of CSR is needed if we are to reverse the current direction of many of the world’...
Article
Full-text available
In the face of overwhelming global challenges like climate change and persistent poverty, can individuals in organizations make a difference? This paper looks at what motivates sustainability managers to devote their time and energies to addressing social, environmental and ethical issues. It is rooted in the literature on the role of individuals a...
Book
Full-text available
This is the first book to provide comparable national profiles that describe the evolution and practice of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) for 58 countries and 5 global regions. Each regional and national profile includes key information about the relevant CSR history, country-specific issues, trends, research and leading organisa...
Chapter
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This chapter describes the historical development of CSR and provides a glimpse of how it is likely to develop in future. The chapter further argues that CSR in its present form has only gone so far and outlines how the next step? CSR 2.0 ? will become less Western-orientated and risk-averse, and evolve from niche ?nice-to-have? CSR into mass-marke...
Article
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Reviews the history of CSR, why it has failed (the three failures of CSR 1.0) and what a new CSR looks like, including the 5 principles of CSR 2.0 (creativity, scalability, responsiveness, glocality, circularity).
Article
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This article maps out the crucial role and responsibilities for business in fighting poverty and acting responsibly in developing countries. It begins by proposing different ways to categorize the literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in developing countries. It then reviews the research which has been conducted at a global and region...
Chapter
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Cross-sector partnerships have emerged as a key development approach, with many governments and international agencies viewing them as an effective way to deal with complex and intractable development problems that have defeated single-sector interventions. Following the perceived shortcomings of the 1980s Structural Adjustment Programmes in develo...
Article
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Innovation is a well-studied area of business behaviour, and is increasingly seen as a crucial element in the private sector's responses to the challenges of sustainability. However, what exactly is meant by innovation in a sustainability context is not very clear. This paper makes the case for a more reflexive and structured approach to understand...
Chapter
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The chapter begins by proposing different ways to categorize the literature on CSR in developing countries. It then reviews the research which has been conducted at a global and regional level, before considering the main CSR drivers in developing countries. Finally, a model of CSR in developing countries is proposed, before concluding with a summa...
Article
My research suggests that this corporatized, depersonalised approach to CSR is failing to tap into a massive source of energy for constructive change in companies and the world. The reason is that the ‘CSR-zombie’ view of the world (i.e. reflected in the mantra, “I only do CSR because it’s good for business”) completely fails to appreciate why peop...
Article
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Cross-sector partnerships are increasingly being seen as a key development approach for the 21st Century, with many governments and international agencies viewing them as the most effective way to deal with complex and intractable development problems that have defeated single-sector interventions. However, partnerships are not a straightforward op...
Article
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In this paper we investigate the status of corporate social responsibility (CSR) research within the management literature. In particular, we examine the focus and nature of knowledge, the changing salience of this knowledge and the academic influences on the knowledge. We present empirical evidence based on publication and citation analyses of res...
Chapter
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This chapter explores the nature of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in an African context, using Carroll's CSR Pyramid as a framework for descriptive analysis. Carroll's CSR Pyramid is probably the most well-known model of CSR, with its four levels indicating the relative importance of economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibiliti...
Chapter
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This chapter provides a brief analysis of corporate citizenship research focused on Africa over the past 10 years. The paper reviews journal articles published in the key corporate citizenship journals over the period 1995 to 2005, and reaches several conclusions: 1) the volume of published research is still extremely low; 2) most papers focus on b...
Article
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This descriptive paper provides a brief overview of the emergence of corporate citizenship (CC) in South Africa since 1994. The paper is divided into three main sections: (1) the scope of academic research on CC in South Africa; (2) the main catalysts for the increasing focus on CC over the past decade in South Africa, including legislative reform,...
Chapter
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This Introduction provides an overview of the topic covered in the book: The book addresses a number of key questions: What research has been conducted on corporate citizenship in Africa over the past ten years? How are the concepts and challenges of corporate citizenship in Africa different, compared to other regions of the world? Which industry s...
Chapter
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Explores the potential for South Africa to shape a new agenda for capitalism.
Article
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The 2001 Survey of Sustainability Reporting in South Africa conducted by KPMG South Africa reflects the international trend towards greater transparency, corporate responsibility, stakeholder accountability and credible performance reporting. The survey examines the nature and extent of sustainability disclosure in the annual financial reports of S...
Article
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Usury - lending at interest or excessive interest - has, according to known records, been practised in various parts of the world for at least four thousand years. During this time, there is substantial evidence of intense criticism by various traditions, institutions and social reformers on moral, ethical, religious and legal grounds. The rational...
Article
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Examines efforts to rekindle native values in business contexts in Africa to create new traditions in Afrocentric management, across several themes: Values - Colonial Hangovers and Ubuntu, Reward/Punishment or Recognition/Rejection, Managerial Bureaucracy or Participative Democracy and Rituals and Creativity. For Afrocentric business to evolve, the...
Article
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This paper introduces the literature and theories of corporate sustainability and how these have been applied at the level of the individual. It begins by defining corporate sustainability, reviewing the concept origins, demonstrating that it is an essentially contested concept (overlapping with related terms like corporate social responsibility, b...
Article
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Dialogue is often loosely touted as an approach to tackling sustainability challenges and resolving sustainability dilemmas or conflicts, especially through the process of stakeholder dialogue. However, the literature is more sparse on the role of companies in pro-active, pro- sustainability policy dialogue, as opposed to the practice of corporate...
Article
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In this article, I want to explode a few myths about corporate responsibility in developing countries. Most of these myths exist as a result of the feeding frenzy that inevitably occurs every time the media has hunted down and sunk its teeth into one or other juicy story of corporate exploitation. The myths are also sustained, however, by whole leg...
Article
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The scale of the crisis There is nothing small or trivial about this financial crisis. According to the Bank of England's recent Financial Stability Report, governments worldwide have already pledged more than $7 trillion in loans, guarantees, capital injections, and other assistance in their coordinated effort to prop up the global financial syste...
Article
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South Africa's recent political transformation is like a hard won gift which keeps giving, and the environment is one of its greatest beneficiaries. For example, South Africa is now one of the few countries in the world to have the environment enshrined in its Constitutional Bill of Rights, according to which: "Everyone has the right: (a) to an env...
Article
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The Short History of Sustainable Development "Sustainable development" hustled its way into the English vocabulary and onto the world's political agenda in 1987, with the publication of Our Common Future, an official report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, chaired by former Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland. In...
Article
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Surprisingly little has been written about the search for meaning in a workplace or business context, and nothing, in my knowledge, has made the explicit link to corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is surprising, partly because meaning has been a serious topic of research and application for at least fifty years now, following the seminal wor...

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Projects (5)
Project
This project has four main research-related activities, the first three of which are related to Integrated Value Management (IVM). 1. Context Analysis: To assess the dynamic local, regional and global context that is shaping J&J’s aspirations toward sustainable transformation. 2. Stakeholder Assessment: To assess the material sustainability issues as perceived by J&J’s stakeholders and top management. 3. Leadership Review: To review J&J’s strategic positioning, to ensure alignment with the findings of the context analysis and stakeholder assessment. 4. Non-Financial Reporting: To review and if necessary, to revise J&J’s non-financial reporting to be in line with international best practices and the outcomes of research activities 1-3.
Project
To share insights on purpose-inspired leadership (including transformational and sustainability leadership)
Project
To share insights on CSR 2.0 (transformative, systemic corporate sustainability & responsibility)