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Sustainability – the most important issue when research and business meet at LUSEM

Published: 2017-10-03

In November, a big sustainability conference will be held at Lund University School of Economics and Management (LUSEM), led by Susanne Arvidsson, associate professor at the School. The conference brings together sustainability experts from universities and business in Sweden, the United States, Belgium, England and the Netherlands. The conference will take place between 16 - 17 November 2017.

Global need for sustainable development

This year, it is 30 years since the Brundtland Report entitled “Our common future” (UNWCED) was published with the objective of drawing attention to the global need for sustainable development. Many meritorious initiatives since then have resulted in a faster adaption towards sustainable development – both at national and international level. Due to vigorous practice development among companies and organisations, the new EU directive mandating larger entitites to provide sustainability disclosures, forthcoming regulations concerning inclusion of sustainable perspectives on investment valuations, disclosure rules, tax transparency and anti-corruption, there is a vital need to bring together different parties to discuss these challenges related to sustainable business, reporting and assurance.

Sustainability in every day business

The objective with the conference is to establish a forum where senior researchers, practitioners, politicians and policy makers are brought together to discuss the challenges and future knowledge needs related to sustainable business, reporting and assurance. During the conference there will be speeches on contemporary themes along with presentations of current research findings and best practices from companies and organisations addressing and facing challenges related to sustainability in every day business. To further enable a constructive dialogue, there will be panels and plenty of opportunity for the audience to participate in the discussions. The ambition is to contribute to a synthesising and increased understanding of the challenges related to sustainable business, reporting and assurance, to initiate new directions of research as well as to promote further communication between researchers, practitioners, politicians and policy makers. The aim is that the conference will become a recurrent event promoting a continued constructive dialogue between the above parties in their common quest of developing sustainable businesses.

A highly topical subject

Sustainability is highly topical everywhere and everyone wants to work (or is already working) on issues related to sustainability. You can just glance into Susanne Arvidsson's calendar to understand that researchers who work with sustainability issues are often asked for as lecturers both within the academy and in business. Susanne, who has conducted research on sustainability issues for over 20 years, is often invited to give lectures.

"It is important to participate in the debate on sustainability and contribute to an academic perspective based on research. Among other things, I participated in the Science Week on Sustainability this spring at Lund University, which was a very ambitious event", says Susanne.

Following a CSR conference in Vienna, Susanne recently was the keynote speaker at Nytt om Hållbarhetsredovisning 2017 in Stockholm when how Swedish companies adopt the new EU directive on sustainability reporting was focused.

"I am looking forward to speak about sustainability both during the conference Framtidens hållbara universitet here in Lund 18 October and at a couple of sessions during the FEKIS conference at Mamö University 18-19 October. I want to highlight the positive momentum that exists both within the academy and in the business community about sustainable entrepreneurship. It is an important driving force and a prerequisite for Sweden's contribution to contribute to Agenda 2030 and the UN's sustainability goals."