Centre for Sustainable Business

Centre for Sustainable Business

Sustainable modes of business, including meeting present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, according to the Brundtland Report (1987, United Nations) and principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), are part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth.

Sustainability, as a principle for development, has been promoted in the global agenda as a result of rising planetary challenges such as climate change, population growth, resources depletion and the most recent financial crisis. It illustrates how the challenges that globalisation poses to governments, the business sector and society at large have moved to the forefront.  

Sustainability is a multifaceted concept with environmental, economic and social dimensions. Sustainable business is business that can sustain itself when facing competition and economic downturns. Sustainable business also adopts strategies that benefit the local community and, therefore guarantees long-term mutual benefits. Sustainable business is also business that guarantees the protection of natural resources, limits its ecological footprint and contributes to find workable answers to climate change.

At the core of sustainable business, there is the concept of corporate social responsibility, i.e. the ethical responsibilities companies face during their daily operations. Recent economic and financial crises have showed that corporate social responsibility plays an important role in a business’s ability to prevent scandals, to be more reactive in a changing environment, as well as to innovate, incorporating wider stakeholder groups. There is no longer the question of ‘if’ CSR is important for business operations, rather, how can CSR integration in core business strategy.



The Centre for Sustainable Business at SSE Riga (CSB) at SSE Riga was founded in 2012. Its aim is to foster a discussion in the business community as well as in society in general on sustainability on all its dimensions. To raise the awareness about the importance of sustainability, CSB, in cooperation with its partners, provides research studies, publications, teaching, training, and contributes actively to public debates. The Sustainable Business Centre activities covers Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, but its reach is broader, including Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.


In order to raise the awareness of sustainable business, the CSB undertakes various activities.


  • Teaching

The CSB is in charge of the course Ethics and Sustainable Business at the undergraduate level at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. The course is also offered in other institutions such as Sciences Po Lille (France). Also, the CSB is engaged in a process for developing courses within SSE Riga as well as content and pedagogical resources with partner universities. The objective is to train future generations of economic, social and political leaders to sustainable and ethical business.

In addition, the Centre works through SSE Riga Executive Education programmes, recognising the fact than an important mission for the Centre is to foster implementation of sustainable thinking in companies in the Baltic region and beyond. SSE Riga Executive Education will, in cooperation with the Centre as well as with international partners, develop training programmes for management in the region with a focus on CSR and CR.


  • Research

The CSB carries on research on various fronts. First of all, to understand the business environment in terms of sustainable (as well as unsustainable) business practices, there is a need to undertake research that is applied to the Baltic context. The CSB also undertakes research in relation to the economics, politics and ethics of climate change. Since one of the most serious and pressing challenge to socioeconomic development stems from man-gauged climate change and resources depletion, one of the missions of the CSB is to investigate the economic, political and ethical dimensions of this looming threat. The research activities include articles, public lectures, collaborative projects with other European institutions, organization of workshops and conferences on the topic related to sustainability.

Examples of research areas include the waste of human, energy, and environmental resources, unjust and openly illicit business practices (e.g. corruption and grey economy activities), governance, tax related behaviour, sponsorship and corporate citizenship, and corporate social responsibility (taking a stance and acting upon it).

The research of CSB has resulted in empirical findings, regularities and trends that form the basis for the Centre’s various activities, including involvement in the policy debate.


  • Events/Policy activities

An integral part of the Centre’s activities is to raise awareness of sustainable business. This includes an active communication both with policy makers, industry and wider audience involving events such as conferences, open lectures and seminars, workshops, guest lectures, roundtables, and media activities (e.g. interviews, tribunes, press conferences). 


Arnis Sauka
Associate Professor, Director
of the Centre for Sustainable Business at SSE Riga


Xavier Landes
Assistant Professor


Activity Report 2015-2017

0.31 MB, pdf

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