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

Energy transitions

Renewable energy production and storage technologies change the way we produce and use energy, do business with it, and innovate.

Solar panels in front of mountains

Innovation for poverty alleviation

Frugal innovations by businesses in resource-scarce environments are one promising approach to poverty alleviation.

Two people hauling bags in Brazil

Innovation for sustainability

The innovation of new sustainable products, services, business models and forms of consumption can help tackle big problems like climate change and resource depletion.

Car parked at electric charging station

Circular economy

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

Recycling bins

Corporate responsibility

Ethical issues are urgent in our globalized world where the public and civil governance of businesses is often underdeveloped and firms are located in different national regulatory systems.

CSR news articles

New economy

Broader descriptions of economy, work and money are being developed that can help our economy function better.

Palms with sustainability pictures drawn on them


The latest publications from SUB researchers

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Two people with pens hovering over articles

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 2019-2020

Fall 2019

Friday 11.10, 12.00-13.00
Aalto Business School (Ekonominaukio 1), room U213

Tulin Cengiz, Alliance Mancester Business School.
Organizational Value Frames and Sustainable Alliance Portfolios

The literature on sustainable alliances and partnerships mostly focused on dyadic relationships between firms and non-profits, NGOs, social enterprises, research institutes, governments, communities or other firms (Lin and Darnall 2010, Lin and Darnall 2014, Wassmer, Paquin et al. 2014). While helpful, research on a single issue or a single alliance can only provide us with a limited view of a firm’s engagements about sustainability issues (Wassmer, Paquin et al. 2014). Recently, to provide a more vibrant picture of a firm’s sustainable alliances and partnerships, scholars have adopted a network or portfolio approach (Schmutzler, Gutiérrez et al. 2013, Gutiérrez, Márquez et al. 2015, Ashraf, Pinkse et al. 2019). Alliance portfolios are commonly studied in the broader strategic or inter-firm alliance literature, even though the scholarly attention is rather new in the sustainability context (Wassmer 2008). This paper brings this portfolio approach forward. It does so by building a bridge between organisational value frames and sustainable alliance portfolios. It offers paths for future research for scholars that study sustainable alliances and partnerships with a lens of organisational value frames.

Friday 4.10, 12.00-15.00
Aalto Business School (Ekonominaukio 1), room V001

The doctoral dissertation of Inês Peixoto, MSc, “Organizing for Sustainability in Transnational Market Reforms: Studies of the EU biofuels market” will be publicly examined. 

Opponent: Professor Frank den Hond (Hanken Svenska Handelshögskola and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Custos (Chairperson): Professor Liisa Välikangas (Aalto University School of Business)

For more information:

Friday 6.9, 9.30-11.00
Otakaari 1, U149

Ioannis Ioannou, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School. Corporate Sustainability: A Strategy?

Co-hosted by the Department of Management's Organizations and Management unit.

Awards and highlights

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.

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

Research & Art Published:

EIT Climate-KIC supported Ioncell directly offers an innovation that regenerates fibres, while enabling them to be recyclable and biodegradable.

Ioncell, conceptualised out of Aalto University, provides a closed-loop technology to regenerate cellulosic fibres without using harmful chemicals.
Helsinki Design Week 2020 Designs for a Cooler Planet
Campus, Research & Art Published:

Designs for a Cooler Planet returns in September 2020 — This is a university-wide open call

We are looking for research and solutions which address the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Research & Art Published:

Albedo matters for the climate and forestry can have an impact on it

A research project conducted by Aalto University found that favoring broadleaved species in boreal forestry is a climate-friendly option when considering the forest albedo. Therefore, forest management actions can directly affect forest albedo, and hence the climate, without decreasing forest productivity.
Picture from the Dean's Circle event, host Ingmar Björkman, and panelists Idar Kreutzer, Minna Halme, Katariina Helaniemi and Mikko Kosonen in the picture. Photographer Lasse Lecklin.
Cooperation Published:

The Dean’s Circle event discussed opportunities to create a more sustainable society through business

Influential actors in society and business gathered at the Aalto University School of Business Dean’s Circle event on November 12th to discuss the theme “Sustainable Business – Sustainable Society”.


Why Wood? Urban Academy Event 16.12.2019 Aalto Living+ Hub. Photo: Honkasuo, Susa Junnola / City of Helsinki
Lectures and seminars

Why Wood? Building from wood in growing cities

What is the role and potential of wood based building in achieving the targets of carbon neutral cities? Why are we not building everything from wood? Urban Academy invites you to a morning coffee event.
Climate University goes Otaniemi banner
Conferences and workshops

Innovations and Creativity in Climate Education

The two-day seminar displays Aalto University’s experience in climate education, especially highlighting innovations, entrepreneurship and arts.
Sustainability Science Days 2020
Conferences and workshops

Sustainability Science Days 2020: Destruction & creativity

The Sustainability Science Days is a two-day conference organised jointly by Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science and Aalto Sustainability Hub. The conference will concentrate on radical changes that are indispensable for creative solutions to the present sustainability crisis.

Get in touch


Väre, Otaniementie 14
02150 Espoo


Elizabeth Miller
[email protected]

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