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words ESG on a wood block and Future environmental conservation and sustainable ESG modernization development by using the technology of renewable resources to reduce pollution and carbon emission.

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



A team of world-leading experts in business transformation are 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. 

Leading the charge is the Centre for Business and Industry Transformation (CBIT), at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University. They are 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 appointed by 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 their educational and research best practice into a range of co-creative workshops internationally:  one in-person workshop in the UK and one workshop will be run in-person in China 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.

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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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