Italy Assistant Professor of Business Sustainability University of Bologna Core Faculty
Email contact

Sara Zanni is Assistant Professor the Department of Management, Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, member of the Center for Sustainability and Climate Change of Bologna Business School, of the Business Sustainability Observatory and affiliated with the Bioeconomy Laboratory of the CNR Florence. She has research and professional experience in the field of measuring sustainability in companies and industrial ecosystems, evaluating the life cycle of products and processes, environmental risk and decontamination of environmental matrices. She received her PhD in Civil, Chemical, Environmental And Materials Engineering from DICAM, University of Bologna in May 2017. She was Climate Kic Pioneer In 2015. She has been involved in national and international research projects, such as “Flagship Reindustrialise”, financed by the European Commission through EIT Climate KIC funds, and the “Sustainability Measurement and Management Laboratory (SuMM Lab) ”, funded by major Italian companies. She has published several academic articles in international journals and has participated in numerous conferences, with oral presentations of original research works (e.g. AiIG RSA 2021; AiIG RSA 2020; PMA 2019, AiIG RSA 2019, ICEEM08 and 09, EBCI VII, CIRP- LCE 2018).


Every year our society uses the resources that the planet Earth takes about a year and a half to regenerate. This and other empirical evidence of global significance bring the theme of sustainability to the center of the economic, political and social debate. Recent studies show that a sustainability-oriented management approach adopted by some companies leads to a medium-long term competitive advantage over competitors, a success achieved thanks to the ability to innovate the business model and introduce measurement tools to monitor and better manage the value creation process. The course aims to launch a debate on how to introduce sustainability policies and practices within companies.

Hybrid MBA

More and more people maintain that it is society’s needs, not just economic ones, which drive markets. The goal of this course is to transfer the concept that a company managed in a sustainable manner, i.e. that integrates elements of a social and environmental nature in the management of the business, will be more effective in the long run in creating value for itself and its surrounding context.

MBA Weekend

Over the last decade sustainability, corporate social responsibility and stakeholder management practices have become paramount for companies as well as for the society at large. Although most companies have developed sustainability programs over the years, as they’re cutting carbon emissions, reducing waste, and otherwise enhancing operational efficiency, we are witnessing a mishmash of sustainability tactics that does not add up to a sustainable strategy. To endure, a sustainable strategy has to cope with the competing – and apparently divergent – interests of all stakeholders: investors, employees, customers, governments, NGOs, and society.

In this context corporate Performance Measurement Systems (PMS) play a key role as they help companies to formalize and implement their sustainable strategies as well as to proactively identify new trajectories that help companies to appropriately reconcile the trade-offs between different stakeholders’ wants and needs.

Sustainability and Business Innovation
Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses

Every year, our society uses the amount of resources that it takes planet Earth a year and a half to regenerate. This and other global, empirical evidence items bring the topic of sustainability at the center of the economic, political and social debate. Recent studies have shown the way in which a sustainability-oriented management approach adopted by certain companies leads to a medium-long term competitive advantage versus competitors, a success achieved also thanks to the ability to innovate the business model and introduce measuring tools to monitor and manage at best the value creation process. The aim of the course is to start a debate on the possible ways to introduce sustainability policies and practices for companies. In particular, by way of case-studies and traditional lectures, the course will deal with three main topics:

  • Business sustainability and triple bottomline
  • Sustainability-oriented innovation
  • Green business models
MBA Evening

The course aims to provide students with an introduction on how to measure sustainability in organizations. Specifically we will highlight how the agri-food sector could benefit from a proper implementation of sustainability measurement processes and practices. The course will have an “hands-on” approach, rooted in Life Cycle Thinking, and developed in accordance with the EU main regulatory frameworks. Students will receive the necessary knowledge for setting up a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for a product, a process or an organization. The course will provide a solid theoretical introduction and but also practical activities which will allow students to deal with the main critical aspects of the LCA methodology (e.g. conceptual model definition, interpretation of results) and acquire a first practical experience of these tools.

Food Innovation and Regeneration

“Sustainability,” a much used and sometimes abused word by companies and entrepreneurs. Sustainability means not only “doing the same things better,” but also “doing things differently” and “doing them with others.” These different approaches to sustainability also imply different performance and outcomes for businesses and companies, performance that must be measured, in order to be better managed. This course will address these issues by analyzing how to measure sustainability within enterprises and organizational ecosystems, with a focus on developing management control dashboards, developing key performance indicators, and setting performance targets.

Business Management – Green Management and Sustainable Businesses