Embracing Innovative Business Models for Sustainable Fashion
As the world grapples with sustainability issues, industries renowned for their environmental impact, such as fashion, face increasing scrutiny. A recent research thesis has shed light on alternatives to environmentally detrimental linear models prevalent in the fashion industry. This article, authored by SASI Master's student Andrea Murguia under the guidance of Professor Sam Aflaki, summarizes the thesis, “Sustainable Business Models in the Fashion Industry”, and delves into these findings, revealing innovative ways to navigate towards sustainability.
Innovating for Added Value in the Global Economy: Snapshots from Four Moroccan Industries
The world we live in is profoundly different to the one we knew four years ago. Disruption to long-established patterns reveal opportunities for developing countries to secure a bigger share of the global economy. A policy paper by Abdelmonim Amachraa, Portfolio Lead at OCP Fondation, and Bertrand Quélin, Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris, for the Policy Center for the New South looks at how Morocco can best integrate with global markets, analyzing the challenges and next steps.
Snacking to Extinction: Paving the Way for Sustainable Food Systems
Today, our bite into a snack, a seemingly innocent act, holds far-reaching consequences. With over 40% of the global food industry's revenue stemming from ultra-processed foods (UPFs), our love for convenience is propelling an industry that contributes to a third of global emissions, strains our planetary resources and has questionable impacts on population health. However, the billion-dollar question remains: can this ultra-processed food industry, so entwined with our daily lives, transition towards sustainable development?
Can ESG Save Life on Earth? Key Lessons
ESG, a tool used to quantify sustainability, is exposed to criticism and allegations of greenwashing. In this RESKILL Masterclass session, Hélène Löning, HEC Paris Associate Professor of Accounting , argues that, despite its struggles and flaws, ESG can help make companies more accountable towards all stakeholders and society, not just investors. She shares with viewers detailed insights into ESG metrics. The Masterclass was recorded on June 29, 2023, and is available on YouTube here. You can also find all the questions and comments in the LinkedIn live.
Seaweed and the Livestock Sector: A Miracle Solution or a Complex Reality?
Livestock contributes to nearly 15% of GHG emissions, which 60% are due to enteric fermentation, a natural digestive process that releases methane through burps. Methane has a warming potential 28 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, the IPCC shows that deep cuts in methane emissions are needed. Recently, a miracle solution has been claimed: feeding cows with a seaweed can cut their methane emissions significantly. But let’s not forget holistic implications of such production for the environment and its feasibility on a large scale. In this article, Clarisse Pierre cautions about the of use of seaweed, based on her MSc "Sustainability and Social Innovation" thesis supervised by Professor Sam Aflaki.
How Can Communication Boost the Adoption of Renewable Energy?
Wide-scale adoption of renewable energy is essential to ensure Europe decarbonizes its energy systems and meets its ambitious net-zero targets. But what motivates interested individuals to make the decision to invest? A recent study by Operations Management Professors Andrea Masini and Sam Aflaki (HEC Paris), Shadi Goodarzi (California State University and the University of Texas), and Behnam Fahimnia (University of Sydney Business School), sheds light on the influence of different communication sources on this process, with implications for policymakers, technology providers, and other sustainability stakeholders.
Managing change and uncertainty
How to Build Business and Career Resilience
The world is constantly evolving and uncertain. However, if there is one certainty it is the need to remain humble. To better build the resilience needed to manage this change and uncertainty in a responsible way, find key findings and classic advice from HEC Paris researchers to decipher environments at all levels: from one’s own career to geopolitical business links. In this In-Depth issue, you will learn that family businesses focus more on resilience than on performance, that connecting private interests and sharing with the community is vital for sustainable objectives and that developing professional and personal resilience takes practice. You will also discover how hybrid governance and smart cities can overcome disrupted supply chains and fight social inequality. Find the PDF version of the Knowledge@HEC' In-Depth issue here.
Strategic Resilience in an Age of Uncertainty
How can private companies and public bodies reorganize their short- and long-term strategies in the current economic context? For years, Professor Bertrand Quélin has been researching the collaboration between private firms, public authorities and civil society to offer solutions aimed at building resilience in cities and designed to tackle the challenges of climate change.
Activist Hedge Funds: Good for Some, Bad for Others?
Recent news cast some doubts about the effects of shareholder activism on firms’ strategic orientation. Hence, the question: Do activist hedge funds help or harm the companies they target? Mark DesJardine of Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business and Rodolphe Durand of HEC Paris (members of the HEC’s Society & Organizations Institute) investigated the long-term effects of hedge fund activism on companies that get targeted by these activists. In their extensive research, they found the value of targeted companies spikes the first year after targeting but drops in later years relative to similar non-targeted companies. In addition, the authors found that being targeted by activist hedge funds put a halt to the broader investment portfolios and socially responsible efforts of companies.
Why Activist Hedge Funds Target Socially Responsible Firms, and How Executives and Investors Can Counteract Them
Danone’s CEO had to leave his position under the pressure of increasingly powerful and influential activist hedge funds. With their controversial tactics aimed at maximizing shareholder profit, they undermine sustainability practices, which they consider wasteful. Indeed, not only do they tend to suppress the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of the companies they target, they also target companies with stronger CSR records in the first place, as a new study reveals. But its authors Mark DesJardine, Rodolphe Durand, and Emilio Marti also show that these companies can divert the attention of activist hedge funds, and that policymakers and socially minded investors can intervene, too.