Our Mission


By 2060, the Earth's population is likely to reach 9 billion, greatly increasing demands for natural resources. The creation of businesses that can deliver the jobs and services that are critical to human well-being while simultaneously reducing the likelihood that we will destroy or severely damage the natural systems on which we all rely is one of the greatest challenges, and one of the greatest opportunities, facing business leaders today.

The mission of the Business and Environment Initiative is to deepen business leaders' understanding of today's environmental challenges and to assist them in developing effective solutions. We aspire to help leaders think clearly about the design of economic and political institutions that enable firms and societies to thrive while maintaining the physical and biological systems on which they ultimately depend.


“We cannot address the environmental challenges we face without the active participation of the private sector, and we are committed to finding ways to make this participation both possible and profitable.”

-- Professor Rebecca Henderson, BEI Faculty Co-Chair

BEI Activities


We support the creation of effective solutions by:

  • Conducting research that advances knowledge about relationships between economic systems and the natural environment, and about the structures that enable firms to act productively in this arena.
  • Developing innovative cases, teaching notes, and other curriculum materials both for our own use and for broader distribution to MBA and Executive Education programs around the world.
  • Organizing conferences, seminars, and symposia that increase the visibility and salience of environmental problems and their solutions among students, alumni, and the broader business community.
  • Reaching out to broader networks to share our stories and to lend support as we together seek to effect change at scale.