Enabling a More Socially Responsible Corporate System

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Enabling a More Socially Responsible Corporate System

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 10:15am

Coming to HBS was an inspirational event for Alejandro Pinedo, managing director at Interbrand Brasil. He is not only applying takeaways from Innovating for Sustainability within his own organization, but also exploring new ways his company can promote sustainable strategies—and brands—for its corporate clients.

Q. Why did you attend Innovating for Sustainability?

My company’s methodology for brand analysis and valuation already examines many aspects of nonfinancial performance. As a natural extension of that, I wanted to learn more about the connections between brand and sustainability. The entire program was aligned with what I had already been reading and thinking—but it also expanded my view of sustainability in a truly revolutionary way.

Q. How did the program change the way you think about sustainability?

The discussions on integrated reporting and investing were very compelling. I’m now convinced that integrated reporting is best for corporations and for capital markets. Companies have been chasing profits over everything else, but to align capital markets with what really builds value and changes the world for the better, you need integrated reporting tools, and you need to be considering a longer time frame.

That’s what excited me most about the program—that we were discussing how to change capital market behavior. To expand corporate social responsibility in the world, we need a more socially responsible corporate system. I want to help develop that system—and to help companies improve performance by being more responsible corporate citizens.

Q. Which aspects of your experience in the program stand out?

Executives with real motivation and drive came together from many different places, and it rapidly became clear we were all moving in the same direction. The issue of sustainability unites and inspires. We all want to be part of a company that produces well-being and contributes something to the world. A month after attending the program, I attended the Rio+20 meeting, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, and ran into people from the program. It has served as a good foundation for continuing to build relationships and expand my network.

In addition, I was impressed with the cutting-edge content of the program. The cases we explored had recently been developed— so we were immersed in what’s happening today.

Q. How would you summarize the value of this program?

The program offers the most innovative and most advanced thinking in the realm of sustainability. It helps you look at the bigger picture of what can be done and provides a great opportunity to learn and to meet the people who are making significant changes around the world.

About the Program

Exploring the link between sustainability and financial performance, Innovating for Sustainability helps companies deliver value to both shareholders and society. You will discover how leading companies are developing innovative products, processes, and business models to achieve financial goals while meeting objectives—and government mandates—for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.


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Keywords: #sustainability | Finance & Socially Responsible Investment | Business & Trade | Volunteerism & Community Engagement | business sustainability program | business sustainability strategies