Department of Management Studies

Sustainability in Business (SUB)

Our mission is to provide knowledge about innovative business models and transition paths that enhance sustainable development. As complex sustainability challenges call for multi-disciplinary knowledge and societally impactful research, we co-create solution proposals together with partners from different sectors of society.
View of Earth from space

Research areas

A girl and a man selling items in Brazil

Innovation for sustainability

Innovating new sustainable products, services, business models and forms of consumption can help tackle global challenges.

Department of Management Studies
Solar panels in front of mountains

Sustainability transitions

Our research looks at several dimensions of the transition toward sustainability societies.

Department of Management Studies
Recycling bins

Circular economy

Circular economy keeps materials in use longer using strategies like reuse, remanufacture, recycling, and replacing ownership with rentals.

Department of Management Studies
CSR news articles

Corporate responsibility

Cross-national governance of businesses make ethical issues urgent.

Department of Management Studies

SUB Publications

The latest publications from SUB researchers

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Sustainability teaching

Sustainability course offerings in the School of Business

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Creative Sustainability students gathered around a laptop

SUB seminar series

The SUB lunchtime seminar series provides a monthly forum for all interested to discuss topical research in social and environmental issues in management.

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Plate of food with wooden spoons

Seminar schedule 2021-2022

Spring 2022

Thursday 31.3, 11.00-12.00
Ekonominaukio 1, U213 and Zoom

Karelia Dagnaud1, Linda Turunen1, Minna Halme1, Jarkko Levänen2
(1) Aalto University, (2) Lappenranta University of Technology
Objects as means of sustainability knowledge co-creation across the research-practice boundary

Thursday 28.4, 11.30-12.30
Ekonominaukio 1, U213

Leena Lankoski, Aalto University School of Business
Driving towards sustainable choice: A configurational analysis with a framing experiment

A thorough understanding of sustainable consumer choice is required so that it can be effectively promoted. Even if individual elements affecting choice have been identified, their joint impacts are less well understood. To address this gap, we examine the topic with a configurational approach. We use fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) with a randomized experiment to show how ‘accelerators’, ‘brakes’, framing, and gender are intertwined in influencing choice. Empirically, we address this topic through the example of animal welfare in food production. We thus offer more nuanced understanding of how multiple elements interact in complex ways in affecting sustainable consumption. We also show how framing sustainability in terms of losses or gains (in terms of avoiding unsustainability or seeking sustainability) affects choice so that under a loss frame, sustainable choice results more easily and under a gain frame, non-choice results more easily.

Thursday 12.5, 11.30-12.30
Ekonominaukio 1, U213

Ira Chatterjee, Hanken School of Economics
Social entrepreneurship and values work: The role of practices in shaping values and negotiating change

Ira writes together with Joep Cornelissen, Joakim Wincent and Dean Shepherd, and will speak about their research on social entrepreneurship in Barefoot College, an organization that trains poor women as solar energy entrepreneurs in India. Ira’s topic is of interest for those interested in social entrepreneurship and ethnographic research in low-income emerging market contexts. The presentation bridges her recently published and forthcoming results (Journal of Business Venturing).

Ira Chatterjee is a Ph.D. candidate at the Hanken School of Economics (defense April 19, 2022). Her work, situated at the intersection of entrepreneurship and social change, explores how organizations can tackle grand challenges and contribute to sustainable development goals. Ira’s research draws attention to the centrality of context and focuses on the mechanisms and strategic practices that enable positive social change, and how individuals and societies can thrive through entrepreneurship. Her work has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing and she has co-authored two book chapters. Ira received her MBA from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, and spent 12 years in industry before making the shift to academia.

Awards and highlights

Minna Halme, Leena Lankoski and Mika Kuisma

Article "When Is There a Sustainability Case for CSR? Pathways to Environmental and Social Performance Improvements" (co-authored with Jukka Rintamäki and Jette Steen Knudsen) received Business & Society’s 2020 Best Paper Award

Inês Peixoto

Finalist for the EGOS Best Student Paper Award with the paper “Risk organization and moral multiplexity in the EU biofuels market” (presented at EGOS Edinburgh 2019)

Minna Halme

HSE Support Foundation Societal Impact Award, 2019

Elizabeth Miller

Thesis "Trash to Treasure: A Multiple Case Study of Finnish Companies That Create Economic Value from Waste Materials" received award for top university master's thesis, Association for Environmental Management (Ymparistöjohtamisen yhdistys ry), 2018

Samuli Patala and Minna Halme

Article "Polycentric Governance of Privately Owned Resources in Circular Economy Systems" received Carolyn Dexter Award for international papers, Academy of Management 2018

Jouni Juntunen, Minna Halme, Angelina Korsunova and Risto Rajala

Article "Powering sustainable innovations: Strategies for collaborating with deviant partners" won Best Academic Paper at R&D Management Conference 2016, University of Cambridge

Minna Halme, Sara Lindeman and Paula Linna

Article "Innovation for Inclusive Business: Intrapreneurial Bricolage in Multinational Corporations", Journal of Management Studies, 2012 received the Emerald Citations of Excellence for 2015

The latest from SUB

Dive deeper into SUB's work through our blog posts and news articles.

The New Sustainability in Business online course strengthens knowledge of sustainable business

How can companies create sustainable value for the economy, the environment and society?

vihreitä kasveja vedessä

SUB scholars win Business & Society’s 2020 Best Paper Award

SUB scholars Minna Halme, Leena Lankoski and Mika Kuisma have won Business & Society’s 2020 Best Paper Award.

Business & Society best paper award

Sustainability in Business (SUB) group awarded funding to research transition risks for low-carbon shipping and aviation

The newly funded T-Risk research project aims to shed light on transition risks in the maritime and aviation sectors, crucial for global trade and transportation.

Shipping port

Jouni Juntunen nominated to Network for Business Sustainability Sustainability Centres Community (SCC) Advisory Board

Jouni Juntunen has been nominated to Network for Business Sustainability Sustainability Centres Community (SCC) Advisory Board for a three year period starting from 2021.

Network for Business Sustainability logo

Interesting methodology workshop organized by SUB researchers

The Sustainability in Business research group organized a virtual workshop on conducting field research in methodologically challenging settings.

Methodology workshop

The World Needs Hands-on Solutions to Wicked Problems

New Global has taken a holistic approach to exploring pathways from poverty to sustainable development. By com-bining interdisciplinary research and education with innovation work in the field, we have studied and experimented with co-innovation across Finland and emerging markets.

Aalto New Global

Does Corporate Responsibility Deliver? Broken Pathways to Business Sustainability (external link)

Guest blog for Business and Society by Leena Lankoski and Minna Halme.

Broken road

Millainen liiketoiminta muuttaa maailmaa? (external link)

Perinteinen kapitalistinen ajatus, että yrityksen tehtävänä on ainoastaan tuottaa voittoa osakkeenomistajilleen, tuntuu nykyään suunnilleen yhtä 1900-lukuiselta kuin lankapuhelin.

Kuuluisassa Kasvun rajat –raportissa (Meadows ym., 1972) todettiin jo lähes 50 vuotta sitten, että luonnonvarojen tuhlaileva käyttö ei voi jatkua loputtomiin.

Valitettavasti 2020-luvulle tultaessa on käynyt ilmeiseksi, että ihmiskunta on ollut hidas reagoimaan. Materiaalienkäytön ja päästöjen kasvu kielii siitä, että todellinen radikaali muutos vaatii aikaa. Näinhän se menee. Hammaslääkäriinkin vaivautuu vasta, kun tarpeeksi kivistää.

Onneksi löytyy myös kosolti kestäviä edelläkävijäyrityksiä, joiden innovaatiot ovat parhaillaan tehokasta juurihoitoa luonnonvarojen käytön kasvun kanssa kipuilevalle ihmiskunnalle. Näitä edelläkävijäyrityksiä löytyy tekstiilialalla esimerkiksi vastuullisten yritysten listasta, jota Finix-hankkeen tutkijat kokosivat koronakevään aikana #kestävävaate-kampanjassa.

Green roof in urban center

SUB researchers to present at the virtual Academy of Management conference

From August 7-11, several members of the SUB research group will participate in the 80th annual meeting of the Academy of Management, this year held virtually because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

AoM logo 2020

Doctoral dissertation: Innovative entrepreneurship may be a viable solution for reducing poverty

Entrepreneurs need an innovative business idea, access to significant support and an environment that endorses entrepreneurship.

Kolmipyöräinen traktori nimeltään Bullet Santi ja kehittäjänsä Mansukhbhai Jagani

Creative Sustainability included in Financial Times’ list of best practices for sustainability in business schools

School of Business was included among the best practices for sustainability in teaching and student projects.

Creative sustainability students brainstorming

Kicking off the "Better Business - Better Society" series

Researchers and partners from the Finix sustainable textile system project, co-led by SUB scholars, kicked off the Aalto Business School "Better Business - Better Society" seminar series.

Cellulose-based fabric from the Ioncell process

SUB researchers to present at the Academy of Management conference in Boston

From August 9-13, several members of the SUB research group will participate in the 79th annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Boston, USA. They will join scholars from across the world to share and discuss the latest research on the conference theme Understanding the Inclusive Organization, examining how organizations impact communities on many different dimensions, from the psychological to the ecological.

Academy of Management 2019 logo

SUB researchers lead new sustainable textiles consortium

Researchers from the Sustainability in Business (SUB) research group are leading one of Aalto’s three consortia funded in the latest round of grants from the Academy of Finland’s Strategic Research Council.

Rolls of fabric in warehouse

Many Shades of Cocreation: Research Designs for Collaboration

When academics and practitioners work together on research, there’s no standard template to follow. Aalto researchers provide a model.

Nanomaji water filters in East Africa

'The solutions for circular economy are not achieved alone'

A circular economy workshop series develops new collaborations between engineers and business researchers.

Circular economy workshop Dilemmas of disassembly Photo: Outi Puukko

How to accelerate the circular economy

It sounds simple — one business’s waste becomes another’s input. But the reality is challenging. Three case studies provide best practices.

Bales of paper and cardboard waste

Aalto sustainability news

Sustainability Science day banneri
Research & Art Published:

How to accelerate innovations, ensure food sequrity and make cities green? Sustainability Science Days seeks answers to the huge sustainability challenges of our time

Sustainability Science Days 2022 focuses on global system-level solutions for food systems, cities, governance and more. Sustainability Science Days is Finland's largest two-day science conference on sustainable development, organized by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki.
A scarf made of Ioncell.
Cooperation Published:

Aalto University becomes a founding partner in Ioncell Oy

The new company will commercialise and develop ecological textile fibre technologies.
Otaniemi - kuva Unto Rautio
Campus Published:

How do you move on campus now and in the future? Let us know and have an impact!

Aalto University is improving sustainable mobility on Otaniemi campus. The survey is an effective way to influence mobility and the flow of traffic on campus. You can also register for a sustainable mobility workshop and participate in a summer-themed draw at the end of the survey.
Maanviljelijä ajaa traktoria riisipellolla
Press releases Published:

Researchers lay out a path to saving the Mekong Delta

Without swift, determined action, the homes of the millions living in the delta will be underwater by the end of the century


White Sustainability Science Days text and a date: 18.–19.5.2022. Dark colored image with some green vegetations visible in the background. At front, on the right down corner, white skin colored human hand holding a wooden stick with a snail. White Aalto University, HELSUS and University of Helsinki Logos on the top right of the image.
Conferences and workshops

Sustainability Science Days 2022: Systemic Transformations to Sustainable Futures

You can still register for online events for the conference organised by the Institute of Sustainability Science of the University of Helsinki (HELSUS) and Aalto University. This year’s theme, Systemic Change for a Sustainable Future, highlights the urgency to act now.
Parenting and Climate Change event with Idil Gaziulusoy and Tapio Pesola
Lectures and seminars

NODUS TALKS Parenting and Climate Change

İdil Gaziulusoy and Tapio Pesola converse parenthood in the times of climate change and climate activism as a parent.
Mies istuttaa puuta
Campus Conferences and workshops

Welcome to create more green campus - join plating workshop 20.5.

With the participatory budgeting project, Ainonaukio will have a comfortable and green place to stay. New flowers and trees will be planted near the garden benches in this workshop.
Design for Government final Show
Conferences and workshops Exhibitions and fairs

Design for government: Final Show 2022

Join us at the DfG 2022 Final Show to learn more about the impact of design in public policymaking in this year's project collaborations.

Who we are

 Minna Halme

Minna Halme

 Patrick Shulist

Patrick Shulist

Assistant Professor
 Samuli Patala

Samuli Patala

Assistant Professor
 Armi Temmes

Armi Temmes

Professor Emerita
 Leena Lankoski

Leena Lankoski

Senior Lecturer
 Ewald Kibler

Ewald Kibler

Academy Research Fellow
 Tiina Ritvala

Tiina Ritvala

Associate Professor
 Sara Lindeman

Sara Lindeman

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Olli Sahimaa

Olli Sahimaa

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Inês Peixoto

Inês Peixoto

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Heli Nissilä

Heli Nissilä

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Teresa Haukkala

Teresa Haukkala

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Iqra Khan

Iqra Khan

Postdoctoral Researcher
 Elizabeth Miller

Elizabeth Miller

Doctoral Candidate
 Sofia Villo

Sofia Villo

Doctoral Candidate
 Jukka-Pekka Ovaska

Jukka-Pekka Ovaska

Doctoral Candidate
 Kaja Kirstine H. Lilleng

Kaja Kirstine H. Lilleng

Doctoral Candidate
 Karelia Dagnaud

Karelia Dagnaud

Doctoral Candidate
 Juliana Rodrigues

Juliana Rodrigues

Doctoral Candidate
Network for Business Sustainability logo

Member of the Sustainability Centres Community

SUB is a member of the Sustainability Centres Community (SCC), hosted by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS).

Get in touch


Väre, Otaniementie 14
02150 Espoo


Elizabeth Miller
[email protected]

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