• Donald Eubank

Introducing "From Vision to Action: Sustainability in Business" at Temple University Japan

Updated: Aug 2


Read the Air is happy to announce the formation of a new Discussion Group on business and sustainability that we are organizing in conjunction with Temple's Japan Campus (TUJ) International Business Studies Program. Our working series, “From Vision to Action: Sustainability in Business,” will bring together key thought leaders from business, academia and other fields for a monthly working group over a period of six months. This working group will explore the practical implications of sustainability in the business context—with particular emphasis on Japan and Asia.


Why now?

"ESG" and the "SDGs" are increasingly popping up on the radar of executives, investors and government officials. Sustainable Development Goals—adopted by the United Nations in 2015—offer a global lexicon for benchmarking and evaluation. Meanwhile, the trend to incorporate non-financial information such as environment, society, and governance (ESG) into corporate evaluation and investment strategy is developing rapidly. In July 2017, the world's largest institutional investor, Japan’s GPIF (the largest pool of retirement savings in the world), began using ESG to manage stock investments.


But ESG is just the start of this transformation.


How can we move beyond a narrow focus on shareholder value?

The TUJ International Business Studies Program believes that new approaches to defining value are required to respond to these fast-changing market dynamics. There is fertile ground to explore in a structured, cross-disciplinary environment. What actions do businesses need to take internally to move beyond the first steps of ESG reporting and measurement? How do we assess business value in a world where sustainability is increasingly important? And, what will business models that move beyond ROI look like?


Temple’s International Business Studies Program, in conjunction with Read the Air's Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank, will lead a working group in exploring the practical implications of sustainability in the business context. Over the past year, Bridges and Eubank have spoken with many of the world's leading companies, investors, and other key stakeholders about the concrete actions that companies are taking to put sustainability at the core of their business strategies. Their findings are detailed in the upcoming book Leading Sustainably—The Path to Sustainability and How the SDGs Changed Everything” from Routledge.


Visionary and Practical

We propose to develop initial insights and conclusions on new definitions of value, via a working group with key thought leaders from business, academia and other fields, who will meet periodically over the next six months. Invitees include: business leaders charged with crafting responses to these challenges, government policy makers, consultants, as well as researchers.

Please contact us at info@readtheair.jp if you would like to join this unique working group that is meeting on the last Monday of each month starting in September. During this process, we will uncover practical methods for how businesses can move from sustainability as a concept to actual practical execution strategies. Our Kickoff Session for high-level conversation for decision-makers will be held on Monday, September 30 at 19:00, and you can find more details on the scope, content and session themes below.

Discussants

Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank, Read the Air


Moderator

William J. Swinton, Director, International Business Studies, TUJ


Venue

Temple University, Japan Campus (NEW LOCATION), Room 305

1-14-29 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 154-0004

03-5441-9800


Enquiries

Please enquire at info@readtheair.jp


Dates

Monday, September 30

SESSION 1—Working Group Kickoff—Purpose, Challenges and Goals


Monday, October 28

SESSION 2—Harnessing the Circular Economy


Monday, November 25

SESSION 3—Does adopting ESG principles actually make companies better?


Further Sessions--TBD


Schedule

6:30 pm doors open, Session runs 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, Networking following Session Refreshments provided


Language

English





AGENDA

From Vision to Action: Sustainability in Business Discussion Series


SESSION 1

Working Group Kickoff—Purpose, Challenges and Goals

Monday, September 30

Introduction: Why we’re here? What are we looking to achieve?

Discussion 1: Sustainable business models

What are the principal opportunities and challenges for business in regards to sustainability? What are the specific drivers of and barriers to change within corporations?

Key Takeaways and Summary

Discussion 2: Addressing challenges

What’s needed to move businesses and industries towards more sustainable business models?

Key Takeaways and Summary

Networking (refreshments provided)


SESSION 2

Harnessing the Circular Economy

Monday, October 28

Introduction: Short Circular Economy review—What is the Circular Economy, its origins and meaning for business?

Discussion 1: Circular Economy business models

What are the opportunities for business within a Circular Economy model? How does it change the boundaries of your business vision?

Key Takeaways and Summary

Discussion 2: Implementing Circular Economy

Brainstorm highest value implementations within organizations, divisions, production facilities, product lines and business models

Key Takeaways and Summary

Networking (refreshments provided)


SESSION 3

Does adopting ESG principles actually make companies better?

Monday, November 25

Introduction: What is ESG exactly, what does it mean tangibly for companies? How widely are investors using ESG to make investment decisions? Does it help actually companies succeed?

Discussion 1: The benefits and outcomes of ESG for businesses

What practical improvements in competitiveness have we seen on business activities due to ESG? How well do investors understand what they ask for, and do their expectations lead to concrete changes within organizations or just more reporting requirements and busy work?

Key Takeaways and Summary

Discussion 2: The strategic and operational implications of ESG

Explore practical changes businesses must make to their strategy and to their operational effectiveness in order to make measurable improvements to their ESG standing. How must decision-making and business


Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) is the oldest and largest foreign university in Japan. Founded in 1982, TUJ has developed into an internationally recognized institution offering an extensive range of educational programs. In addition to its core undergraduate program, TUJ offers graduate programs in law, business, and education; an English-language preparation program; continuing education courses; and corporate education classes.


International Business Studies—TUJ’s International Business Studies Program was developed in response to the contemporary global need for personnel with the knowledge and skills to work in the international arena. The curriculum encompasses a general knowledge of cultures, economies and societies, business knowledge required to succeed in a variety of careers, and the language abilities to work across borders.


Read the Air—Trista Bridges and Donald Eubank are cofounders and principals of Read the Air, a Tokyo-based specialist advisory service that enables companies to put sustainability at the core of their business, for purpose and profit. Read the Air guides commercial enterprises in designing, implementing and executing powerful business strategies that create sustainable business models.


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