Sustainability and Business Innovation

Creating Shared Value

The fast changes in the competitive and social context we’re witnessing require from us to radically rethink the corporate value creation process. Sustainability, circular economy and social innovation are key elements for business, from manufacturing to services, in large corporations as well as in start-ups.
The Executive Master in Sustainability and Business Innovation was established to develop a new strategic vision and to provide skills and operational tools to those who manage, for their organizations, sustainability, circular economy and social innovation processes. Promoting these topics today means training thought and action leaders, able to reconfigure their business models or to develop new ones, to meet the needs and opportunities in this changed competitive scenario. This journey allows organizations to invest in professionals able to understand changes underway and to better manage them, from within the different corporate functions. Attending the Master means becoming part of a community of innovating managers, able to integrate the current economic, social and environmental challenges, activating partnership and open innovation processes with the various stakeholders in the territory.

This program, the only one in Italy including topics related to sustainability and social innovation at a strategic level and then applying them to the different corporate functions, features 30 classroom days, with a residential formula (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) over a 12-month period, plus a Warm up and one day for the presentation of the Project Works. In addition to the core courses, there are distance learning modules, focus sessions to exchange views on specific subjects with industry managers and professionals, and company visits, an occasion for networking at leading companies for sustainability and partners of Bologna Business School. To start this journey, book an interview with the course Directors.






Bologna Business School is EQUIS – EFMD Quality Improvement System accredited, one of the most important international quality assessment and continuous improvement systems for Schools of Management and Business Administration.

Matteo Mura

Matteo Mura

Scientific Director

" There’s no alternative to sustainability and those companies that have understood it are performing better than their competitors. This master is specifically meant to train professionals able to rethink the value creation process of their organization, consistently geared towards sustainability, circular economy and social innovation. "

Maria Luisa Parmigiani

Maria Luisa Parmigiani

Executive Director

" Achieving SDGs could mean accessing a global market of about 12 trillion dollars a year, for the development of key industries such as food and agriculture, cities and urban mobility, energy and materials, health and well-being. For this to happen, organizations need to start a profound rethinking of their business model, adopting a holistic, systemic and deeply innovative approach. "


The Executive Master in Sustainability and Business Innovation is a part-time program, compatible with work. It lasts 12 months and it features 30 class-room days (Thursday, Friday and Saturday full time once a month).

The program features 10 courses, on 2 areas:


Every module includes courses, focus sessions, opportunities to exchange ideas and views with company managers and professionals, and a final test. The contents are structured so as to ensure the correct order of activities and allow participants to delve deeper into each specific field, one after the other.

10 courses developed in succession to delve deeper into each specific discipline. The classroom activity includes traditional lectures, case-studies and corporate accounts.

3 workshops with university professors, managers and professionals to analyze some of the key aspects of sustainability, social innovation and circular economy.

25 weeks of distance learning using the school e-learning platform. It features: studying the course materials, completing exercises, discussing company cases and exchanging views on the questions asked by the educational tutor and colleagues on the forum.

2 company visits aimed at exchanging ideas with managers and entrepreneurs, directly in the “field”.

4+ evening meetings (17.30-19.30) with company managers who illustrate their managerial experiences.


The goal is to develop participants’ awareness of their own leadership style and boost some of their key skills to manage processes of change in risk situations with authority. The program is based on experiential learning: Participants alternate meetings which are aimed at doing tasks at different moments to observe their behavior, participants will benefit from the assistance of professionals and managers who have significant experience in leading groups and organizations to excellent results

Ghini Massimiliano

The course addresses issues related to measuring and managing the performance of innovation projects.
Specifically, the course will deal with techniques aimed at: predetermining the economic and financial appropriateness of the project (Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, Payback Period, etc.); cross-functional management of project costs and margins from the creation phase (Target Costing, Life Cycle Costing); assessing the adequacy of the costs incurred concerning the value generated (Data Envelopment Analysis and Value Analysis); supporting the preparation of incentive measures for the different company areas.

Boccali Filippo

Operations module will give to students the necessary skillset to understand which will be the principal evolutions of the field in the next years, so to be able to anticipate, face and benefit from those transformational changes. The course will also include a strong contamination from real world, in terms of advanced technologies (provided both from corporates and startups), new business models and real cases of innovation in the field.

Regattieri Alberto

The course aims to introduce the fundamental concepts and research methodologies of business ethics and discuss their practical application by decision-makers within organisations (managers, entrepreneurs, public officials). The main normative ethical theories (deontology, utilitarianism, virtue ethics) will be discussed during the course, exploring their usefulness for analysing decision-making processes within organisations and their relevance for corporate responsibility towards all organisational stakeholders. After discussing the primary theoretical references of normative ethics and the empirical findings of descriptive ethics, participants will explore their practical relevance for successfully building and managing an ethical and sustainable enterprise in a globalised world.


de Colle Simone

This course addresses the challenges facing executives of modern business who need to deal with increasing community expectations for economic, societal and environmental sustainability of their organizations. Contemporary, economics-based models of firms and markets are used to analyze a wide range of strategic real-world scenarios. Students will learn how to identify and choose a superior competitive position, gain and sustain competitive advantage, and how to create an organizational context to make the chosen strategy work. They will also be exposed to analytic tools that help them in making strategic decisions. The single biggest concern of senior executives in global surveys year after year is that their business models are not innovative and therefore, noncompetitive. A related concern is that, absent an innovative model, their company can easily be disrupted. Academic studies have conclusively demonstrated that the highest return on innovation
investment is in the creation of innovative business models.

Esposito Mark

The design (redesign) and management of these processes, measuring and controlling their sustainability and environmental impact on man and the planet, are the new challenges of modern production systems. To face this challenge, it is necessary to rethink the production chains, moving towards a logic of circularity, where waste is eliminated and the waste of a production process becomes a second raw material of a subsequent production process.

The objective of the course is to introduce models and tools useful for analysing and controlling production and logistics processes with special attention to the circular economy and sustainability throughout the life cycle of a product, from the supply of raw materials to disposal.

In this context, the course intends to pursue the following results:

– To provide students with the key concepts of circular economy and the knowledge of the main processes characterizing sustainability in operations and in the supply chain (i.e. Green Purchasing, Green Manufacturing, Design for Sustainability, Reverse Logistics, Closed-Loop Supply Chain);

– Provide students with KPIs and tools for assessing sustainability and environmental impacts along a supply chain;

– Encourage the integration of sustainability tools and KPIs with those traditionally used in the planning and management of the Supply Chain and production processes.


Manzini Riccardo

Introduction to social innovation and concrete practices for transforming the organizational culture of sustainability from the reputational to the productive area.

Fia Magalì

The goal of this course is to analyze the tools available on the market to support the adoption by companies of sustainability-oriented strategies in order to help identify possible financial solutions but above all to decline business projects, areas of development, structural investments to be financed by sustainable investors. In particular, two different perspectives related to finance will be developed within the course:

  • Institutional political process: how regulations and control bodies change
  • Operational tools: Green and Social Bond, Impact Bond, Green Loan, etc.
Fracasso Giovanni
Parmigiani Marisa

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.

Mura Matteo
Zanni Sara

The father of marketing Philip Kotler today talks about Brand Activism, replacing the theory of 4Ps (product, price, position, promotion) with the centrality of the person and of society.

The aim of the course is to introduce models and tools useful for rethinking consumer analysis and listening, redefining communication styles and priorities, deepening codified tools (logos, certifications, campaigns), with good practices of engagement and civic activism both in institutional and product communication.

Parmigiani Marisa

FOCUS SESSION: The role of companies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with particular attention to how this process of changing the development model affects companies and their organizational models. In this context, it becomes interesting to evaluate how the onset of the pandemic has changed, in an open situation that is not yet foreseeable, the potential role of the company to support the transformative resilience of society. In-depth contexts and organizational models will be studied, by sectoral clusters.

FOCUS SESSION: The evolution from corporate social responsibility to the creation of shared value.

Focus on the Porter model “Creating Shared Value”.

Four steps to integrate shared value into the corporate strategy.

The measurement of shared value. An important novelty in the corporate scenario: the B Corp model. The tools and steps to certify B Corp.


Gaëlle Ridolfi
Gianluca Principato

Human-caused climate change is one of the most serious issue of our time and it portends
unprecedented environmental changes for our societies and future generations. Terms like “global
warming”, “climate change” or “greenhouse effect” are nowadays commonly used by non-specialists,
although this is often done without a clear understanding of the science behind them. Understanding
the science of human-caused climate change is essential to understand the economic, political and
moral dimension of it, and ultimately to tackle it. The objective of this course is to explain the basics of
the climate change science in a concise yet rigorous way, providing the scientific knowledge which
underlies all aspect of the human-induced climate change problem.

Pascale Salvatore

Learning approach

The Master study method includes learning periods in the classroom and distance learning on the School e-learning platform, that is constantly monitored by the related instructors.

The distance learning study activity features a weekly work plan on the School e-learning platform, which is a section of individual work of further analysis, supervised by the reference tutor. The platform includes a Forum for the real-time sharing of reflections and additional study among faculty and participants.

Each course starts with a residential and it usually covers 1.5 of the 4 days, in addition to the hours necessary to interact on the platform in the following weeks. Thus the learning activity follows a linear path, constantly monitored by the course tutor who is always available to provide clarifications and additional information. The Master takes place in two distinct places: a physical location, i.e. Villa Guastavillani, the headquarters of Bologna Business School in Bologna, and a virtual one, that is the e-learning platform. Participants should prepare for about 8 hours of study per week. At the end of each module (3 modules) participants take a final test aimed at assessing the level of learning they’ve achieved.





Luciana Emanuela Ciceri

General Manager & Board Member – Ciceri de Mondel Srl
Executive Master in Sustainability & Business Innovation (Ed. 2021/2022)

"I enrolled in the Master's programme with the environmental impact of manufacturing in mind to increase my skills and knowledge in the field of the circular economy. After an intense year of study and discussion with lecturers and colleagues, I find myself with a much broader and more articulate vision of what is meant by sustainability and the possibilities of innovation connected to it. A path of great professional and personal enrichment that opens up new and, at times, unexpected points of view."

Roberta Marsi

Head of Corporate PR and General Services, DHL Express Italy
Executive Master in Sustainability & Business Innovation (Ed. 2019/2020)

"Everyone's contribution makes a difference in the success of a project. When the project supports the company's vision and mission along the path of innovation in sustainability, this Master is the answer. The method, the contents, the parterre of participants and the human touch of the lecturers despite the distance, are what I will carry with me forever. Thank you because it has been an enrichment for me and my company."

Cristian Paravano

General Manager & Board Member – Gatto Astucci Spa
Executive Master in Sustainability & Business Innovation (Ed. 2019/2020)

"“As someone who has always been particularly interested and sensitive to issues of Sustainability and Business Innovation, EMSBI was a great opportunity to both integrate and revolutionise my vision with a multidisciplinary, interactive approach: after several years of study and in-the-field management, this master provided me with the basis and the necessary competences in order to better manage a subject which is much more complex, varied and fascinating than I expected to.”"

Antonella Sarti

Responsabile Amministrazione Finanza e Controllo
Emba Coop (ed. 2010/11)

"I chose Emba Coop because I was looking for a Master that could make me more adequate to deal with job related problems"

Giorgio Ferrari

Direttore Generale Log-Man
Emba Coop (ed. 2011/12)

"If previously it was a option, today it is unthinkable to be a good manager without having participated in this master. With Emba Coop I acquired a portfolio of knowledge that is simply priceless"

Francesco Malaguti

Responsabile Acquisti Camst
Emba Coop (ed. 2010/11)

"I chose EMBA Coop in order to enrich my experience as well as my personal and professional culture"

Daniela Vitali e Gianluca Giglio

Responsabile Controllo di Gestione Consolidato e Responsabile sviluppo del personale e Organizzazione
Emba Coop (ed. 2012/13)

"An important investment in training in order to protect the development of the cooperative heritage and my own personal growth""


The Executive Master in Sustainability and Business Innovation is a master made of people, during which formal and informal opportunities for debates are created in order to foster the exchange of ideas among participants. Networking develops among the students of the same class, between participants and the faculty, as well as with students from other courses and with the School community.

Company visits and the accounts by the experts allow participants to exchange views with managers or entrepreneurs on a significant experience. The direct contact with managers and the protagonists of important organizations provides a wonderful learning and networking opportunity.


The Executive Master in Sustainability and Business Innovation is the ideal course to develop management skills and leadership capabilities. Starting from the main issues and topics that the companies have identified during the planning stage, in their own contexts, it was possible to focus on and understand specific needs and expectations related to this training journey.


  • Camst
  • Gruppo Hera
  • Intesa San Paolo
  • Lega coop
  • Philip Morris
  • Unipol


  • Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (ASviS)
  • Fondazione Sodalitas
  • Forum per la Finanza Sostenibile
  • Impronta Etica
  • Sustainability Makers
  • PRME Principles for Responsible Management Education
  • RRBM Responsible Research for Business and Management
  • UN Global Compact

Programme Advisory Committee

  • Filippo Bocchi, Gruppo Hera​
  • Cristina Fioravanti,​ Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (ASviS)
  • Stefania Bertolini, Sustainability Makers
  • Arianna Lovera, Forum per la finanza sostenibile​
  • Claudio Lubatti, Intesa San Paolo​
  • Francesco Malaguti, Camst​
  • Roberta Marsi, DHL Express (Italia)
  • Elvio Rocco, Philip Morris Italia​
  • Sara Teglia, Impronta Etica



During the Master, a series of seminars with head-hunters and HR managers are offered, to provide tools and resources to contribute to your career development and how to enter the job market in leadership positions.

Once the Master is ended, it is possible to join the activities dedicated to the Community, to further increase your own network. Furthermore, meetings open to the entire BBS Community are periodically scheduled with managers, entrepreneurs and guests, focusing on the different scenarios of a constantly evolving society and market.


The registration fee for the Master’s course on a company basis is 18.200 Euros + VAT.

The registration fee for the Master’s course on an individual basis is 15.200 Euros + VAT.

Reduced fee available for very early-bird enrollment before 30th of June, 2024.

The registration allows to:
  • Access to the internal gym
  • Participation to the BBS Community events
  • Computer lab
  • Wi-Fi


Companies that make investments in education 4.0 aimed at the acquisition or consolidation, by the company’s employees, of skills in the technologies relevant to the implementation of the process of technological and digital transformation can take advantage of the tax credit in 2022 provided by the “National Plan Enterprise 4.0”.  For more information, click here .



Study loan on preferential terms:
– Subsidized rate
– Payable in 10 years
– Possibility to postpone the payment of the first installment up to 36 months
For information write to



Preferential terms are available from your reference Inter-professional Fund:

• Fonditalia:
• Fondimpresa – for managers / middle management:
• Fondo Dirigenti PMI – for executives of industrial SMEs:
• Fondirigenti – for executives:
• Fon.Coop – for cooperatives:
Fondimpresa funds training activities to support product and/or process technological innovation for SMEs in the manufacturing industry. For further information click here.


The Master is meant for managers and professionals working at for-profit and not-for-profit companies, cooperatives, representation bodies and public authorities, interested in acquiring tools, methodologies and multi-disciplinary skills to manage and implement, within their own organizations, company strategies and operational processes related to sustainability, circular economy and social innovation.


The selection process is carried out by vetting the Curriculum Vitae and holding an individual interview, aimed at identifying the candidate professional profile and their consistency with the participation to the master. Candidates are then contacted to plan the selection interview with the Master Directors. No auditors are allowed. Attendance to individual courses is not allowed.


The majority of participants have degrees. A quota of applicants who do not hold a three year degree and with a minimum 5 years of professional experience can be admitted

The selection interview is necessary but not binding. If necessary, a second meeting can be held to provide further clarification.

It is possible to meet one or more current or past students by contacting the Program Manager who will provide their contact details.

The program manager can provide attendance certificates at the end of each lesson to those who require it.

Yes, since it is a first level Master, a Bachelor’s degree is a requirement for participation. In order to verify admission requirements we ask you to please consult the Call for applications. However, a quota not exceeding 20% of the places are open to participants lacking a degree. In such a case, after an agreement is made with the Program Manager, it is possible to perform a selection interview with the Director of Studies.





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