University of Pittsburgh
October 25, 2019

New Pitt Center Engages Companies in Sustainable Business Practices


PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh announced today its Center for Sustainable Business will engage leading global and regional companies to integrate environmental and societal concerns into their business models.

The Pitt Center for Sustainable Business (CSB), established in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration (CBA) will work with companies managing the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit. 

“We aspire to make the Pitt CSB a world-renowned hub for applied research on sustainable business,” said Arjang A. Assad, Henry E. Haller Jr. Dean of the Katz school and CBA. “In collaboration with corporate partners and world-class scholars across the University, Pitt Business is committed to investigating the crucial questions that will enable new models and inform best practices in sustainable business. We also feel that this is a pivotal component of our educational mission.” 

The Pitt CSB celebrated its launch Thursday with an inaugural event bringing together Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd, as well as academic experts and nonprofit and business leaders to discuss strategic partnerships, applied research and ways to foster a new generation of sustainability leaders.

CB Bhattacharya, the H.J. Zoffer Chair in Sustainability and Ethics and a globally recognized author and researcher in the field of sustainable business strategy, leads the center. 

“Attention to the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits has never been more important in business, but companies often fail to reap the full value of their investments in sustainability and corporate responsibility because sustainability is not well integrated throughout the organization,” said Bhattacharya. “Sustainability can’t be viewed as ‘someone else’s job.’ It’s only when individuals are trained and empowered as sustainability generalists that a culture of sustainability can take root and begin to yield benefits for all stakeholders both inside and outside of the company. Our mission is to help companies tackle that all-important question of ‘how’ to best embed sustainability throughout the organization.”

Established with seed funding from The Heinz Endowments, the Pitt CSB will be self-sustaining through the support of sponsor members — local, regional, national and international companies committed to learning how to integrate more sustainable practices. 

“The Pitt CSB’s collaborative strategies for guiding organizations toward more sustainable practices will help improve regional environmental quality, promote a higher quality of life and create a more prosperous future for all,” said Andrew McElwaine, vice president of sustainability, Heinz Endowments. “We are pleased to support these important efforts to equip businesses with the knowledge and leadership needed to become more sustainable.”

Inaugural corporate members of the Pitt CSB are: BASF Corp., CONSOL Energy Inc., Enel North America, IBM Corp., Peoples Natural Gas, PITT OHIO and PPG.

“We are pleased to support the University of Pittsburgh’s new Center for Sustainable Business in helping companies to embed sustainability throughout their organizations. For PPG, our culture of continuous improvement underpins our approach and commitment to sustainable operations,” said Mark Cancilla, PPG vice president, environment, health and safety. “Whether it is increasing the efficiency of our operations; developing paints, coatings and specialty materials that enable our customers to enhance the sustainability of their products and operations; or continuing to grow our partnerships in communities across the world through our Colorful Communities initiative, PPG is finding new ways every day to strengthen our commitment to sustainable business.”

Through their membership, Pitt CSB sponsors contribute to:

  • Collaborative, cutting-edge thought leadership in the field of sustainable business strategy.
  • Partnership in groundbreaking research that has positive environmental, social, and financial impacts.
  • Investments in innovative approaches to training and educating a new generation of sustainable business leaders.

“BASF collaborates with partners to strategically solve today's challenges and ensure a better tomorrow,” said Teressa Szelest, president, market and business development at BASF North America. “We support the center's efforts to empower business leaders through research and training; this will help accelerate the creation of innovative business models for a sustainable future.” 

In addition to research and training opportunities, Pitt CSB members will convene in twice-yearly Sustainable Business Forums, the first of which is scheduled for February 2020.


 About The Heinz Endowments: The Heinz Endowments is devoted to the mission of helping our region prosper as a vibrant center of creativity, learning, and social, economic and environmental sustainability. Core to our work is the vision of a just community where all are included and where everyone who calls southwestern Pennsylvania home has a real and meaningful opportunity to thrive.