WHU Sustainability Management Center –

Enabling businesses to build a sustainable future

WHU Sustainability Vision

At WHU, we aspire to be at the forefront of sustainable entrepreneurship and management and to drive positive change in the world. Our vision is to create a community of leaders who are deeply committed to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, and who possess the knowledge, skills, and values needed to create lasting impact. We believe that sustainability should be a core focus of all our activities, from research and teaching to transfer to management practice and beyond. Our goal is to generate new insights, approaches, and solutions that can address the most pressing challenges facing society today.

As a community, we commit ourselves to establish an environment at WHU that allows to reach these goals.

About us

WHU Sustainability Management Center –
Bridging thought leadership and real-world impact

The establishment of a dedicated Sustainability Management Center at WHU stresses the urgency of ESG challenges faced in business and in society. The Center serves as a platform to share the school’s sustainability-related insights and activities with the broader WHU community and beyond. As such, the Center is focused on translating sustainability-related insights into management practice, while also matching stakeholders to help advance sustainability-related research and teaching at WHU - always with a focus on how businesses and people can and must be the engine for transformation towards a sustainable future.  As a thought leader on sustainability, WHU’s research ranks #1 in Germany and #11 among business schools worldwide in terms of SDG-intensity. Establishing dialogue and forging connections through the Center helps translate that research into real-world impact, while also creating a basis for deeper research as well as more relevant and applicable teaching in areas such as sustainable business models and operations, supply chain management, social entrepreneurship, marketing and accounting.

At WHU, we believe in the power of networks. The Sustainability Management Center helps stakeholders inside and outside of WHU to navigate our network on sustainability topics by keeping track of actors and activities, forging relationships, identifying trends and commonalities and facilitating the exchange of insights, resources, and opportunities for collaboration. The Center works with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, including large corporate partners, SMEs and startups, and also aims to foster relationships with the public sector, NGOs and individual thought leaders and change agents. Both current business leaders as well as future managers and entrepreneurs benefit from the Center’s offerings. Ultimately, the Center delivers impact by connecting stakeholders – both with cutting-edge insights and with each other – to take action together.

The work of the Sustainability Management Center is based on a broad understanding of sustainability, encompassing key challenges related to environmental sustainability as well as inclusive and equitable growth and transparent governance.  Some key subject areas for the Center include:

  • Circular and regenerative economy business models
  • Carbon-neutrality and climate solutions
  • Sustainability in transport and logistics
  • Sustainable marketing and consumption
  • ESG accounting and controlling
  • Impact investment
  • Sustainability in SMEs
  • Sustainability in sports business

Our activities and offers

1. Insights

WHU’s researchers pride themselves in conducting studies and projects that are both academically rigorous and practically relevant. The following examples of recent research have been summarized for a broader public.

For more sustainability-related insights, visit WHU Knowledge on Sustainability.


Why pharmaceutical expenditures in Germany will drastically increase over time

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Management & Controlling

Why status symbols are a lot more than just money and fancy cars

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Management & Controlling

How a few minutes of laughter at work can boost your well-being and performance

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Supply Chain Management

How better air traffic management can substantially reduce flight emissions in Europe

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2. Research

WHU research is regularly published in leading academic journals and practitioner publications. Most recent examples include:

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3. Events and community building

The Sustainability Management Center collaborates and coordinates with various student- and alumni-led initiatives and events that all have one thing in common: The desire to lead responsibly and advance sustainable business practices.

Wirtschaft in der Verantwortung

Every year, over 200 stu­dents from renowned universities in Germany and the EU meet with decision­makers from business and politics on the WHU campus to discuss cur­rent topics from the fields of business, politics and society. 


The WHU Impact Summit

This conference has been a unique platform ever since its inception, hosting more than 250 international students, entrepreneurs, young pro­fessionals and investors. The diverse and exciting program includes inspirational speeches, hands­on workshops, a panel discussion, the pitch battle, and countless networking opportunities. Over the course of two unforgettable days, attendees from all over the world are inspired towards impactful economic behaviour and corporate social respon­sibility. 


WHU Sustainability Club –
We want to clarify the true definition of sustainability in a corporate environment

The WHU sustainability club wants to look at the success story of responsible companies that set good examples for their entire industries. In addition, we want to address the challenges a business may face while transitioning to a sustainable business model and learn how to overcome them. But we mainly want to gain fundamental knowledge of sustainability and remind ourselves that it lies in our hands to make a change.

Find out more

In Praxi –
People Planet Profit

We believe as a group we can help businesses to drive sustainability to drive business; we believe the transition to a circular economy is a chance and competitive advantage; we believe there is a gap to be closed on HOW companies can combine the 3 Ps in innovative business models and create shared value; we believe there is added value in sharing knowledge, expertise, experience - the HOW of circular economy.

Join via the In Praxi portal

WHU Students Help

The aim of the initiative is to “press pause” in a fast­paced world, to be grateful for what we have, and to encourage students to give back. A recurring event is the annual Christmas charity concert, in which students from the WHU commu­nity get together to perform a vivid music program. Regular projects concerning the community in Vallendar are also consistently on the agenda.


4. Guest lectures and case assignments
Developing novel business models, Professor Dries Faems

As part of this course, all Bachelor students develop and pitch a business model for a sustainability-related startup that makes commercial sense while also benefiting the planet.

Brand Positioning and Sustainability - Insights from Henkel Consumer Adhesives, Assistant Professor Anna-Karina Schmitz

During the Master course “Marketing Strategy and Decision Making”, Philippe Guégan, Global Head of Marketing Strategy and Head of Sustainability atHenkel Adhesives presented a practitioner’s perspective on the intersection of brand and sustainability. The talk covered the climate impact of products, health and safety as well as the role of adhesive in extending the useful life of products.

Creating social value, Professor Nadine Kammerlander

In the Bachelor program, Stefanie Hauer, Partner and Member of the Board of NatureRe Capital AG presented on the twin climate and biodiversity crises. For students, this brought home the message that climate is about how we live - but biodiversity is about whether we live.

5. Executive Education

WHU's General Management Plus Program enables participants to create social impact and develop as a leader while enhancing their general management skills. Facilitated by BOOKBRIDGE, a social enterprise founded by WHU alumnus Carsten Rübsaamen, program teams establish a fully independent social enterprise in local community in a developing country.

Find out more

Our Team and affiliated professors

Nadine Kammerlander

Associate Dean DEI & Sustainability
+49 (0)261 6509 780
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Rebecca Stallbaumer

Senior Manager DEI & Sustainability
+49 (0)261 6509 158
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Massimo Dal Bosco

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Professor Arnd Huchzermeier

+49 (0)261 6509 380
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Honorary Professor Jürgen Ringbeck

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Assistant Professor Anna-Karina Schmitz

+49 (0)261 6509 763
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Professor Stefan Spinler

+49 (0)261 6509 430
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Professor Arne Strauss

+49 (0)261 6509 775
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Our partners

Support us

The Sustainability Management Center continuously seeks funding and support to broaden and deepen its activities, particularly in the areas of community mapping and monitoring as well as matchmaking, but also to make the WHU community and campus more sustainable. Specific cases for support include:

  • Sponsorship of a doctoral student to work on strategically expanding the Center’s activities
  • Sponsorship of a staff member dedicated to maintaining and improving the Center’s mapping and monitoring activities
  • Sponsorship of community building and networking events
  • Financial support to sustainability-related research, including that of PhD students, e.g. for research-related travel and other expenses
  • Funding for specific infrastructure measures on the WHU campuses, such as additional solar panels, charging stations, bike racks or water fountains
  • Support in implementing climate measures to compensate for CO2e emissions that we are currently not able to avoid

By investing in the Center, partners will get connected to world-class research, talent, and collaborative opportunities that drive sustainability innovation, thereby gaining access to practical insights and tools to integrate sustainability into their business models and operations. The Center’s focus on shared value creation for companies, society, and the environment makes it an attractive investment for those committed to building a sustainable future.

If you want to get involved, contact us.