Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness
The mission of the SERC is to spur the development of a vibrant and sustainable low-carbon regional economy that serves as a model to the world. We pursue this mission by engaging in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research on the linkages between sustainability and firm-level and regional competitiveness; by developing and delivering educational programs that provide the skills needed for workforce development to support a sustainability transformation; and by engaging in outreach and service to the larger community.
- SERC developed and co-runs a graduate and undergraduate Certificate in Clean Energy and Sustainability, and extended the Environmental Management specialization within the MBA program.
- Dr. Levy is leading research on climate resilience; most recently he led the development and launch of the report Financing Climate Resilience: Mobilizing Resources and Incentives to Protect Boston from Climate Risks, released in March 2018. The study was funded by the Barr Foundation and the Green Ribbon Commission and coordinated by the Sustainable Solutions Lab at UMass Boston.
- Research on Making the Leap from Local to Global: A Study of How Firms Address Global Sustainability Issues. Dr. Haigh is currently examining how US firms address global sustainability issues in ways that are successful for the firm and contribute to resolving the broader issue.
- Research on building competitive clean tech clusters in dynamic global value chains. In light of recent concerns that China might dominate new clean energy markets, we are studying emerging patterns of regional competitiveness for clean energy and related sectors at different stages in the value chain.
- Research into sustainable organizations and collaborations is led by Dr. Veleva. Two current areas include business and the circular economy, and benchmarking green chemistry adoption by the global pharmaceutical industry.
- Research on hybrid organizations, called Fourth Sector, For-Benefit, Mission Driven, Benefit Corporations, and Social Enterprises, is led ty Dr. Haigh. We use the term hybrid organizations because it is emerging as a dominant term and reflects their tendency to develop business models that are a hybrid of what is traditionally considered for-profit and nonprofit (and they can be registered as either). Hybrid business models have been termed “sustainability-driven,” because they are designed with the specific intention of alleviating a particular set of sustainability issues while remaining economically viable.
Examples of recent outreach events:
- On April 3, 2017, SERC hosted public event focused on opportunities and challenges for businesses adapting circular economy business models and incorporating zero waste practices. The panelists included policy makers and local companies focused on waste reduction.
- On March 5, 2018 SERC hosted an event on “Sustainable Product Design for the Next Seven Generations” with Martin Wolf, Director of Sustainability & Authenticity at Seventh Generation.
- On April 9, 2018, SERC hosted an event “Raytheon Zero Waste Journey” with Frank Marino, former Senior Corporate Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability Manager at Raytheon.
- Jesse Mermell, President of the Alliance for Business Leadership, was the speaker at the Business Leaders Advancing Social Change event on April 18, 2018.
- On May 3, 2018, Prof. Nardia Haigh, held a workshop introducing participants to scenario planning for climate change.
- On Nov. 15, 2018, SERC is hosting a public event with Jeff Bellows, VP of Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The title of his talk is “Healthy Living, Community Impact and the Environment”.
SERC is an interdisciplinary center housed in the College of Management. SERC was founded by David Levy, who is presently Director of Grants. The center is currently co-directed by Dr. Levy and Dr. Veleva, who is senior lecturer, MBA Program Director and Interim Director of the Healthcare Management Program. About 15 faculty are affiliated with the center. SERC collaborates closely with other departments and colleges on campus and with other institutions.
Professor of Strategy and Management, Founder and Co-Director of SERC