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Strategic Sustainability Systems: The G3 Program at the UAlbany School of Business Paul Miesing, Linda Krzykowski, Elio - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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G3: GOING GREEN GLOBALLY School of Business, University at Albany. Strategic Sustainability Systems: The G3 Program at the UAlbany School of Business Paul Miesing, Linda Krzykowski, Eliot Rich UAlbany School of Business. Outline. Comments About “Sustainability” in the MBA Curriculum

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School of Business, University at Albany

Strategic Sustainability Systems:

The G3 Program at the UAlbany School of Business

Paul Miesing, Linda Krzykowski, Eliot Rich

UAlbany School of Business


  • Comments About “Sustainability” in the MBA Curriculum

  • Introduction to “G3” and The G3 Compass

    • The Players and Expectations

    • The G3 Process and Results

  • Neo-Classical View of Production vs. The System Dynamics Model

    • Counter-Intuitive Results

  • Sustainability Roadmap

  • Tentative Schedule

Comments about mba curricula
Comments about MBA Curricula

Too theoretical and not practical

Too reliant on traditional models and not reactive to current issues

“Can’t create leader in a classroom”

Teach in the silos, not on the platforms

Comments about sustainability ualbany curriculum
Comments About “Sustainability” UAlbany Curriculum

  • What is “Sustainability”?

    • Why now? Is there money in it? What business models are sustainable?

  • Sustainability problems are big and complex, hence require cross-discipline solutions (science and engineering, computer science, biology, public administration and policy, law)

  • Key Challenge: Very intensive, highly-collaborative, integrative, and time-consuming twelve-day activity that develops a prototype to solve an intractable problem

  • Pedagogy Principles: Critical thinking, whole systems thinking, manage complexity, experiential emphasis

The g3 compass
The G3 Compass

Natural Environment and Organizations (NEO)

World Without Walls (WWW)

Ethics: Values, Integrity, Professionalism (VIP)

  • Value Proposition

  • Business Model

Strategic Sustainability Systems (SSS)

Introduction to g3
Introduction to “G3”

  • “Integrative Cornerstone Group Project” is important to:

    • MBAs

      • Curriculum closure and consolidation (skills)

      • Jobs! (resume, experience, internships)

      • Knowledge about one of the most vital issues of the day

    • UAlbany School of Business

      • Reputation, research, funding, community outreach

    • Our clients

      • Value team recommendations to help them with sustainability and “Going Green Globally” initiatives

The players
The Players

  • 2 Managing Partners and a Director

  • 6 Consulting MBA Teams

  • 6 Clients

  • Team Coaches and Executive Life Lines (“T-CELLs”)

    • Business Coach (one per team)

    • Science Coaches (Profs. Delano and Haldar; Nano PhD students)

    • Research Coach (Mary VanUllen)

    • Sustainability Life Line (Dr. Steven Ricci)

    • Project and Energy Life Line (Dr. Jim Mahoney)

  • 7 School of Business faculty members

  • 13+ Guest Speakers

G3 baseline
G3 Baseline

Survey of student sustainability values

Sustainability issues

Attitudes toward sustainability challenges

Personal habits

Calculate personal carbon footprint

Fishbanks ® Simulations

Student expectations
Student Expectations

  • From Us:

    • Do expect us to be available and on call for you, give feedback on your presentations and papers

    • … but Don’t expect us to always agree with each other

  • From your T-CELLS:

    • Do have a designated rep, use e-mail, expect advice and direction, and use them

    • … but Don’t expect answers from them

  • From your Client:

    • Do ask for information and expect some availability

    • … but Don’t expect a lot of time or for them to do your job for you

Our expectations
Our Expectations

  • From Individuals:

    • Do be committed, act professionally, and challenge yourself

    • … but Don’t let your ego get in the way or kill the messenger who gives you constructive feedback

  • From Your Team:

    • Do expect you to work hard, put in long hours, teamwork, and use feedback constructively

    • … but Don’t expect any free riders

  • From the Class:

    • Do have fun and learn a lot

    • … but Don’t attack each other or treat this project as another “classroom exercise”

The g3 process
The G3 Process

  • Client sustainability projects

  • Experts and Guest Speakers

    • Energy, regulation, science, technology, finance

  • Case Studies

    • UAlbany, NYSERDA, WalMart

  • Individual coaching sessions

    • Team coach, Dr. Ricci, Dr. Mahoney

  • 4 Presentations + 2 Papers

  • 100+ Hours Per Person of Work

  • … all in 12 Days!

G3 results
G3 Results

  • Client Recommendations:

    • Multifaceted and integrated

    • Strategic management, marketing, finance, public policy, human resources, information technology, science, communications

  • Ability to Deal With:

    • Pressure … Deadlines … Ambiguity … Clients … Managers … Team members … Coaches … Multiple deliverables for multiple stakeholders … Incredible amount of work

Neo classical view of production without feedback
Neo-Classical View of Production (without feedback)







Production Capital





Internal and External Infrastructure


Pressure to Remarket Waste



Waste Remediation

Remarketed Waste

“Bads” Market





Effect of Waste on Resource




Pressure to Remediate Waste






Production Waste

Effect of Accumulated Waste on Goods Market

Demand for Resource






Production Output





Production Capital

Post Production Waste

Effect of Natural Capital on


Natural Capital




Production Planning




Goods Market









Production Waste Cost


Operations Cost



Resource Use




Natural Capital Replenishment




Resource Cost



Market Price



Reinvestment in Production


Accumulations of Material



Flows of Material

New Investments

Flows of Information

Remediation Cost


Capital Markets


Counter intuitive results
Counter-Intuitive Results

  • Fallacy of the Infinite Resource:

    • Superior returns based on non-renewable or slowly-renewing resources draws in capital

    • Misleading signals to the market increases extraction and exploitation

    • If extraction grows faster than replacement/ renewal, market fluctuates and can collapse

Counter intuitive results cont d
Counter-Intuitive Results (Cont’d.)

  • Productivity Speeds Decline:

    • Improved extraction technology for declining resources speeds failure

    • Less productive extraction technology preserves declining resources and protects from market disruption and side-effects until replacements are available

    • Jevons Paradox – Technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource

Counter intuitive results cont d1
Counter-Intuitive Results (Cont’d.)

  • Change Occurs Precipitously and Non-Linearly:

    • Ability to absorb waste are uncertain

    • Threshold effects upon reaching capacity can be dramatic

  • Market can send invalid signals – must understand the underlying system

Counter intuitive results cont d2
Counter-Intuitive Results (Cont’d.)

  • Erroneous Forecasts:

    • Long delays for information

      • Effects of waste take time to appear

    • Uncertain and non-linear effects go unnoticed

      • Oceans as carbon reservoirs

      • Landfills as waste reservoirs

    • Overshoots from market momentum

      • Hard to reduce consumption and industry patterns once they are established

Counter intuitive results cont d3
Counter-Intuitive Results (Cont’d.)

  • Correct investments in correct places ripples throughout the entire system:

    • Abundant opportunities to reduce resources for production processes, energy, by-products, transportation … all of which are avoidable costs!

    • Waste is an investment without customer value

Business sustainability roadmap

Source: Adapted from http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/publications/p00771aa.pdf/The_business_sustainability_roadmap.pdf

Business Sustainability Roadmap

Leadership in Business Viability

Maturity of Initiatives

Leverage Innovations and Market Advantages



Efficiency Gains





“Triple Bottom Line”

Stockholders, Sustainability, Social Responsibility

Tentative schedule
Tentative Schedule

  • Pre-G3:

    • January – Manage Expectations: Clients receive information packet and questionnaire; begin gathering information their team will need; begin conversations about what an appropriate project might look like

    • March – Questionnaire due from the client; project broadly defined and scoped out

    • Early April – Teams Formed: Assigned clients and given completed client questionnaire, forms, information

Tentative schedule cont d
Tentative Schedule (Cont’d.)

  • G3:

    • Friday am – Kick-Off: Science and Motivation; Discussion about what consultants do

    • 12-1:30 – Student panel (last year’s group)

    • 2:00-4:30 – System Dynamics exercise

    • 4:30-6:00 – Teams meet clients and coaches

    • Weekend – Work - Work - Work on very specific, directive deliverables; build the research component of final report

Tentative schedule cont d1
Tentative Schedule (Cont’d.)

  • G3 (cont’d.):

    • Monday: Energy

      • Morning – Panel discussion; Speed dating

      • Lunch – With coaches

      • Afternoon – Work time; Skype with J. Mahoney

    • Tuesday: Policy and Regulation

      • Morning – Panel discussion; Speed dating

      • Lunch – With clients or tour of facilities

      • Afternoon – Work time; Skype with S. Ricci

Tentative schedule cont d2
Tentative Schedule (Cont’d.)

  • G3 (cont’d.):

    • Wednesday

      • Morning – Student presentations to faculty

      • Noon – Conference calls with coaches

      • Afternoon – Field Trips: Members go to different site

      • Evening – Teams brief each other

    • Thursday

      • Morning – Water and consumption/packaging panel; Speed dating

      • Afternoon – Sustainability panel; Speed dating

Tentative schedule cont d3
Tentative Schedule (Cont’d.)

  • G3 (cont’d.):

    • Friday

      • Morning – Work time

      • Afternoon – Presentations with coaches and clients

    • Weekend – Work - Work - Work

    • Monday

      • Morning – Presentations to faculty on client recommendations and 2 minute executive summary of white “research” papers (3-5 pages each)

Tentative schedule cont d4
Tentative Schedule (Cont’d.)

  • G3 (cont’d.):

    • Tuesday – Work Day

      • Teams meet with Ricci, Mahoney, Coach, Client

    • Wednesday

      • Final presentations; Lunch; Group photos

Our own continuous improvement and learning loop
Our Own Continuous Improvement and Learning Loop

Students move onto summer internships

Growing success of G3

We de-brief with T-Cells, Clients, faculty

Make adjustment to the G3 system

Plan for growth

Begin planning for next iteration

On going challenges to g3
On-going Challenges to G3

Evaluation of the program

Success in the market as indicated by clients

Success in the market as indicated by outgoing student placement

Success in the market as indicated by incoming students

Evaluation of student learning


Very resource intensive

Resources change with G3 iterations

Integration – we live in silos, not on the platform

Faculty and administrative commitment

Reinforcement in curriculum vs. learning in a standalone project

Take aways
Take Aways

Graduate MBAs who embrace holistic thinking and feedback

Give students experience recognizing feedback structures

Give students a template for identifying investments which are sustainable AND profitable

Provide a business-realistic, challenging, experiential and academic program

Recognize leadership also has long range vision

Develop leaders who respond to Triple Bottom Line