OPEN Fellow – Robert Sroufe


Ph.D. (Business Administration–THE ELI BROAD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY East Lansing, Michigan Ph.D. in Business Administration: Operations Management, May 2000 Minors in Statistics and Strategic Sourcing National Science Foundation Research Associate Master of Business Administration: Supply Chain Management Dual Concentration: Purchasing; Materials & Logistics Management, December 1995 LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan Bachelor of Science: Environmental Law/Criminal Justice, Spring 1992 Associate Degree: Water Quality Technology, Spring 1990 Associate Degree: Natural Resource Technology, Fall 1990

Interests & Passions

Action learning opportunities at the intersection of industry and academics.


Robert Sroufe is a Professor of Sustainability, Operations and Supply Chain Management in the MBA Sustainable Business Practices program at the Palumbo-Donahue School. Professor Sroufe develops and teaches courses on Strategic Sustainability and Business Models, covering the forces and models driving current decision making while integrating sustainable business practices into business practices. He also develops and teaches case based Sustainable Tools and Processes for Driving Performance course with guest speakers covering topics and assignments ranging from the development of a sustainability management plan for area organizations, to energy management systems, and a High-Performance Building Leading Electric and Environmental Design (LEED) competition. Sroufe believes students thrive when challenged with real-world problems. Thus, he likes to engage students in problem based learning and research that has the potential for tangible impact. During both the fall and spring he develops and co-instructs the Sustainability Consulting Field Project courses overseeing student teams consulting with corporate clients. He is currently developing new opportunities for the integration of sustainability within graduate and undergraduate curricula. Sroufe’s courses have been selected internationally by the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program (Aspen BSP) as one of its Ideas Worth Teaching Award winners. He was also an Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer finalist, and has received the University Creative Teaching Award, the Wickham Skinner Teaching Innovative Award from the Production and Operations Management Production Society (POMS), and the Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) Instructional Innovation Award for the development and delivery business school courses integrating strategic sustainability. As a faculty member within the innovative and #1 ranked U.S. MBA Sustainable Business Practices program, he is also an integral member of the faculty team awarded the Page Prize for Best U.S. Environmental Curriculum. In his research, Professor Sroufe primarily aims to understand what drives sustainability performance and how firms can develop effective environmental management systems to enable the measurement and management of a triple bottom line. His work has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, the European Journal of Operations Research, Journal of Supply Chain Management, International Journal of Production Research, the Production and Inventory Management Journal, Greener Management International, and Business Strategy and the Environment, while also publishing books on Integrated Management: How Sustainability Creates Value for Any Business, Developing Sustainable Supply Chains to Drive Value: Management Issues, Insights, and Tools; and Strategic Corporate Environmental Management Systems. Professor Sroufe consults with a range of corporations, and conducts quantitative and qualitative research with firms including Alcoa, Baxter, Dow, Eco Labs, Ford, Gillette, GSA, Herman Miller, IBM, Intel, Interfaces, Lucent, and Steelcase.

Why am I an OPEN fellow?

I am a global expert in sustainable business practices with a focus on the areas of performance measurement, environmental management systems, integrated management, sustainable supply chain management, and high performance buildings. My scholarly work has received awards for both research and teaching. Within our Business School I develop and deliver experiential learning opportunities for students and faculty. I try to find balance in my scholarly work through engaging industry partners, enabling the valuation and integration of best practices, support for the development of programs aligned with the sustainable development goals, consulting, and public speaking.

How can I help change agents?

I am a professional speaker and consultant working with Business Leaders on positively impacting 21st Century business practices through energizing and supporting desired change management at the intersection of business and sustainability. In addition, I advise, consult, and conduct research enabling significant business change involving environmental management systems, supply chains, high-performance buildings, and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I can help change agents with over 20 years of experience and a knowledge base in integrated management, translating sustainability into value and performance, coupled with a passion for assisting leaders in transforming their practices, products, and services. My experience includes working with business leaders in the Manufacturing sector, Services arenas, Higher Education, and the fields of Biotech, Architecture, and within emerging Social Sustainability industries. I have worked with Fortune 500 companies and entire countries while assisting leaders in bridging gaps in their operations, supply chains, and management systems and reporting – seeing past obstacles to opportunities. Using a systems approach, he assists his clients in developing insights to read trends and shifts toward desired integration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance. My clients have remarked on the skills I bring to an engagement as inspiring them to think big globally and empower employees and new initiatives.

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