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Research at the Institute for Business Sustainability is funded through international research burseries available throught international research collaborations. 


An important element of the research is to continuously advance

the latest thinking shared in our educational programs, in order

to maintain the leading edge of sustainability and transformational practices.  

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Case studies

Key Publications


Responsible Leadership Competencies in leaders around the world: Assessing stakeholder engagement, ethics and values, systems thinking and innovation competencies in leaders around the world

Muff, Katrin, Delacoste, Coralie, Dyllick, Thomas. 2022

CSReM. 2022, 29(1), 273-292,

Learning from Positive Impact Organizations: A Framework for Strategic Innovation

Muff, Katrin. 2021

Sustainability. 2021, 13(16), 8891;

Clarifying the Meaning of Sustainable Business: Introducing a Typology from Business-as-Usual to True Business Sustainability
Organization & Environment Best Paper Award 2016/17

Dyllick, Thomas & Muff, Katrin. 2016

Organization & Environment. Vol. 29, No. 2, 2016, 156-174

Towards True Product Sustainability

Dyllick, Thomas & Rost, Zoe. 2017

Journal of Cleaner Production, 162

How to apply responsible leadership theory in practice: A competency tool to collaborate on the sustainable development goals

Muff, K, Liechti, A, Dyllick, T. 2020

Corporate Social Responsible Environment Management. 27: 2254– 2274

The Gap Frame - Translating the SDGs into relevant national grand challenges for strategic business opportunities

Muff, K., Kapalka, A., Dyllick, T. 2017

The International Journal of Management Education. 15, 2017, 363-383

Developing globally responsible leaders in business schools: A vision and transformational practice for the journey ahead

Muff Katrin. 2013

The Journal of Management Development. 32


Nachhaltigkeit als unternehmerische Innovationschance

Muff Katrin. Mai 2022

Twice, Handelskammer beider Basel, Schweiz. 22(1). 4-7

Anforderungen an eine echte Purpose-Orientierung im Unternehmen - Woher kommt der Druck und was sind die Anforderungen an Unternehmen?

Dyllick, Thomas, Muff Katrin. Sommer 2021

CONTROLLING - Zeitschrift für erfolgsorientierte Unternehmensführung, Sommer 2021, 31-35

SDGs – the chance to embed true sustainability into corporate strategy

Muff Katrin. 22.06.2017

La vie Economique (Gestion responsable des entreprises: implication réelle ou simple affaire d’image ?)

Die Suche nach Nachhaltigkeit

Dyllick Thomas. 16.12.2015

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Themen und Thesen), Nr. 292, 29

Step by step towards a sustainable world

Muff, Katrin. 30.06.2017

Swiss Confederation's Green Economy Dialogue (Green economy in action)

Verantwortungsvolle Unternehmensführung und die Sustainable Development Goals

Muff Katrin. 2019

Verantwortungsvolle Unternehmensführung im österreichischen Mittelstand, 29-40

Produktlabels sind bedeutende institutionelle Innovationen

Zaslawski Valerie. Interview with Dyllick Thomas. 23.11.2013.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Themen und Thesen), Nr. 220, 50

Umweltmanagementsysteme: Eine Bilanz

Dyllick Thomas. August 2007

Umwelt Perspektiven, Nr 4

Die Stimme der nächsten Generation

Stehr Christoph. Interview with Dyllick Thomas. May 2020

Personalmagazin Plus: MBA 2020 (Gesellschaftliche Verantwortung), 10-11



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The Positive Impact Mindset

Author: Katrin Muff. 2023.

Published by Routledge Publishing



ceo impact ratig

We enjoy working and collaborating on selective positve impact projects which we conduct as commissioned work. 

The CEO Impact Rating

A current example is the creation of a framework for a new CEO Impact Rating for Switzerland, initiated by the Green Business Switzerland. This new rating, which for a first time assesses the impact a CEO and his organization have on society and the environment, was published in June 2021 by the business journal BILANZ and in the Swiss-french magazine PME. This rating represents a first ever assessment of the societal contribution of corporations and their CEOs. The IBS has developed the underlying methodology offering a first-time comparison of traditional ESG risk management and positive societal impact of organizations. It also features a first-time assessment of the responsible leadership competency and the perceived positive impact credibility of CEOs.

To date CEO ratings assume that the company performance equals the CEO performance. Our framework differentiates between the two and furthermore looks at the impact beyond traditional shareholders and stakeholders, to measure a broader impact and contribution to society. 

To celebrate this ground-breaking new rating, we offer organizations and leaders a free opportunity to test their own sustainability and responsibility: 

Focused Reporting Methodology

Another recent project consists of contributing to the evolving methodology of the sustainability reporting assessement initiative launched by Swiss partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development  öbu and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN / BAFU) and conducted by our close partner engageability

Focused Reporting assesses more than 100 Swiss sustainability reports every two years regarding their comprehensiveness, credibility and relevance. Measuring relevance remains a challenging aspect in reporting today, and this is where we contribute with our insights and expertise gained from the Gapframe methodology. 

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Business Sustainability Today Platform

Business Sustainability Today is an independent digital information and discussion platform on corporate sustainability and goals for sustainable development (SDGs). It was co-developped by engageability, the Institute for Business Sustainability, öbu and the UN Global Compact Network Switzerland and funded by various departements of the Swiss Confederation and private companies.

On the platform you can find video reports on innovative leading projects from the corporate world and exclusive interviews with opinion leaders.

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