Upcoming events on environment and business

Photo: The Banker by Jason de Caires Taylor
Photo: The Banker by Jason de Caires Taylor

If you’re interested in the environment, climate change and business, the University of Sydney will be hosting a number of symposia and lectures over the next month which address all of these issues.

Friday 14th February 2014
Corporate Social Responsibility: New Challenges, New Concepts

Businesses face increasing pressure to act in more responsible ways and contribute to not only financial, but social and environmental improvement. While the idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become well recognised, in recent years new concepts such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘creating shared value’ have been promoted as the best path forward for business performance and social legitimacy. This afternoon symposium will provide an opportunity for business practitioners and researchers to hear from leading international and local experts on the new challenges and concepts in CSR. Speakers include:

Dirk Matten
Hewlett-Packard Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada
‘Contesting the Value of the “Shared Value” Concept’

Melinda Leth
Senior Sustainability Consultant, Net Balance
‘The Potential for Creating Shared Value in Australia: How Australian Companies Co-create Long-term Commercial and Social Value’

Stewart Jones
Professor of Accounting, University of Sydney Business School
‘Fashion or Future? Exploring the Empirical Basis for Creating Shared Value’

Catherine Bremner
Head of Environmental Sustainability, ANZ
‘Delivering a Value Proposition for Environmental Sustainability’

Dan Cass
Principal, Dan Cass & Co.
‘Organisational Renewables Campaigns: Potential for a Shared Value Transformation?’

2.00pm – 5.30pm
Business School CBD Campus
Stockland Building, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 2000
RSVP: business.researchnetworks@sydney.edu.au by Wednesday, 5th February. Places are limited.

Tuesday 18th February 2014
Sydney Ideas Lecture: ‘The Enigma of the “Responsible” Corporation’
Professor Dirk Matten, Schulich School of Business, York University (Canada)

Corporations are conceived as legal persons that engage in the combination of production factors with the goal of providing a maximum return to those who provided the money to make this happen in the first place. At least that is the legal structure they have in most parts of the global economy. However, looking at how corporations now present themselves provides a puzzling picture. In their self-representations, corporations appear very concerned with their responsibility to society; their contribution to global warming, their impact on indigenous populations, and a lot more issues. This contrasts with their initial remit of just ‘making money’. Corporations, which should just care about profits and economics, appear to have suddenly turned into ‘do gooders’. In this lecture Dirk Matten examines the history of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and look at three important questions. Why has it emerged? What has it really achieved? And, what is the future of corporate engagement with societal needs?

6.00pm – 7.30pm
Law School LT 024, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney.
Free event, with registration required.

Tuesday 25 February 2014
Sydney Ideas Event: Exploring the Anthropo-scenery

Australian climate policy shifts, the future of the Great Barrier Reef is called into question, America experiences a polar vortex whilst Australia swelters and burns. These are snapshots of the new geological era in which we live, an era where humans now control many of the forces that shape the planet. This is the age of the anthropocene. A controversial term that is resisted by some and embraced by others, this Sydney Ideas event will explore the social and political potential of the term. Three separate talks will consider concepts of hope, justice and sight in this unprecedented epoch. Surrender to human domination of the natural world. Join us for an evening in which we explore the realities and opportunities presented by one of the most powerful environmental concepts of our time.

6.00pm – 7.30pm,
Law School Foyer, Level 2, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney
Free and open to all with online registration requested

3 thoughts on “Upcoming events on environment and business”

  1. Lynne,

    Yes we are planning to video the presentations at the BERN event on Feb 14 – and will post these later. I believe SEI will also be filming the environmental humanities conference on the Anthropocene – so stay tuned!


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