Professor Andrew Hoffman, the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a faculty member at the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, was awarded the 2016 Aspen Faculty Pioneer Award in recognition for his innovative teaching in addressing some of the most pressing “grand challenges” faced by our society and environment today. Andy’s work asserts that the predominate focus of business sustainability has been on improving eco-efficiency. While important, this is only a band-aid. For real change to happen, we need to change the systems in which business operates. We need, what he calls, Market Transformation.
Andy responded to the news of his award, “I’m encouraged that my work (and that of the Erb Institute) is moving in the right direction; thinking beyond the models of business sustainability that have predominated over the past 20 years and taking us closer to addressing the root causes of our sustainability problems, not just the symptoms.” Andy notes the relevance that Market Transformation has for our treasured great lakes,”The challenges we face in the Great Lakes require broad scale solutions. It is not a matter of addressing one pollutant or one activity. We have to change the systemic aspects of the ways we use, protect and damage this valuable ecosystem. It will require concerted efforts from business, governments and non-profits. Of those three, I look to business as the most important source of solutions.”