We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the ESCP Europe website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.


Chair ofCorporate Sustainability

Prof Dr Florian Ludeke Freund, Chair owner of the Corporate Sustainability Chair, Berlin Campus, Escp EuropeMajor sustainability frameworks such as “Our Common Future” or the “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” are clear about the important role that corporations, managers, and entrepreneurs play as agents for sustainable development. Understanding their motivations and opportunities for action, but also their limitations, is crucial to advance 21st century management and entrepreneurship theory and practice, and to fully embrace the business, environment, and society nexus.

- Prof. Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund

The Chair for Corporate Sustainability is led by Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund. He is an expert in research and teaching on corporate sustainability management and sustainable entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on innovation and business models. Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund is also Academic Director of the new Master in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation (next intake starting in September 2019 – apply now!).

Jean-Baptiste Say Institute

Logo of the Jean-Baptiste Say website, Campus Berlin, ESCP Europe

The Jean-Baptiste Say Institute for Entrepreneurship relies on a unique European network which was developed in 2007 by the Entrepreneurship Chair of ESCP Europe and has today more than 50 researchers and teachers. Its goal is to train entrepreneurs and leaders around the world in entrepreneurship and, to prepare tomorrow’s managers for profound changes in the world of work.

Know More

The Blue Factory Berlin

Logo Blu factory Berlin, Campus Berlin, ESCP Europe

The Blue Factory Berlin is the central contact point for all ESCP Europe students, alumni, and staff members interested in founding their own venture. In close collaboration with the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Blue Factory offers custom-made training and support for preparation and implementation processes related to setting up a venture.

Know More

Research center

Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund facilitates the research platform www.SustainableBusinessModel.org, is scientific board member of the International Conference on New Business Models series, and supports ESCP Europe’s Business and Society - Towards a Sustainable World research center.

4th International Conference on New Business Models

The 4th International Conference on New Business Models hosted by Florian Lüdeke-Freund and his Chair for Corporate Sustainability at ESCP Europe Berlin brought together 186 business model and sustainability experts from 30+ countries. There were inspiring keynotes, top-notch panel discussions and nearly 100 presentations by scholars from sustainability sciences, entrepreneurship, innovation, management, design and many more. You find much more inspiration in our conference proceedings.

We offer the following courses:

Master in
Sustainability Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MSc)

  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Business Models for Sustainability
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Project
Go to the programme

Master in
International Sustainability Management (MSc)

  • Environmental and Sustainability Management
  • Eco-Marketing and Communication
  • Company Consultancy Projects
Go to the programme


Research approach

Studying corporate sustainability management and sustainable entrepreneurship – with a focus on innovation and business models – improves our understanding of how organizations and individuals can contribute to a sustainable development of the natural environment and society. The major research fields of the Chair for Corporate Sustainability include business models for sustainability, values-based innovation, and alternative business paradigms.

The Chair contributes to these research fields in theory and practice through publications in scientific journals (e.g., Organization & Environment, Journal of Cleaner Production, Technological Forecasting and Social Change), transfer studies (e.g., Network for Business Sustainability, GIZ), and workshops for practitioners and students in the wider field of corporate sustainability.

The Chair for Corporate Sustainability partners with several international researchers and institutions, including e.g. Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) at Leuphana University.

Research topics

Business models for sustainability

Business models are a means to describe and analyse, but also to develop, the value creation rationales of corporations, entrepreneurs, and other kinds of organisation. The emerging field of research on business models for sustainability explores how new and adapted business models can contribute to corporate sustainability and sustainable entrepreneurship by creating more than just financial value.
Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund contributed some well received publications to this new research field, incl.:

Values-based innovation

Every human and every company holds values, but these values – understood as notions of the desirable – remain widely untapped as sources of and drivers for innovation. This research field takes a values-based view on innovation and its management and demonstrates the potential of values to integrate diverse stakeholders into innovation processes, to direct collaborative efforts, and to generate innovations that matter – including innovations for ecological, social, and economic value creation. Current publications in this field include:

In a first study we applied an experimental design. In a between subject design participants were asked to judge different corporate social activities (with and without additional benefits for the corporation). Our results show how the motives that are attributed to company are related to corporate credibility and legitimacy.

Alternative business paradigms

Friedman’s dictum that the only social responsibility of business is to increase its profits is just one way of seeing the world. Corporate sustainability research and practice try to go beyond this worldview, but are often historically bound to it. The question is whether and how 21st century corporations and entrepreneurs can do well without being limited by traditional, industry-age business paradigms. Approaches such as the “sharing economy” or the “circular economy” may offer opportunities for alternative trajectories of economic development. However, these approaches must be carefully scrutinised. Contributions in this field include:

Focus on:
Last Publications

Journal articles

Bassen, A.; Gödker, K.; Lüdeke-Freund, F. & Oll, J. (2018): Climate Information in Retail Investors’ Decision-Making: Evidence from a Choice Experiment, Organization & Environment, online first 27 April 2018.

Journal special issues

Pedersen, E.; Lüdeke-Freund, F.; Henriques, I. & Seitanidi, M.: Collaborative Cross-Sector Business Models for Sustainability, Business & Society (CfP open, SI under development, publication planned in 2020).

Peer-reviewed books

Böttcher, J.; Hampl, N.; Kügemann, M. & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (Hrsg.) (2014): Biokraftstoffe und Biokraftstoffprojekte – Rechtliche, technische und wirtschaftliche Aspekte [Biofuels and Biofuel Projects]. Berlin & Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.

Peer-reviewed book chapters

Lüdeke-Freund, F.; Bohnsack, R.; Breuer, H. & Massa, L. (forthcoming): Research on Sustainable Business Model Patterns – Status quo, Methodological Issues, and a Research Agenda, in: Aagaard, A. (ed.): Sustainable Business Models. Houndmills: Palgrave.

Find an overview

Team and contact

Prof. Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund, Chair for Coporate Sustainability, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund

Chair Owner & European Academic Director
Master in Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Innovation
Prof. Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund, Chair for Coporate Sustainability, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Dr. Florian Lüdeke-Freund

Florian Lüdeke-Freund is Professor for Corporate Sustainability at ESCP Europe Business School. His research deals with corporate sustainability management, sustainable entrepreneurship, sustainable business models, and values-based innovation. His publications on sustainable business models are regularly among the most downloaded and most cited papers in their respective journals (e.g., Journal of Cleaner Production, Organization & Environment). Besides publishing numerous journal articles and book chapters on sustainable business models and related topics (see www.LuedekeFreund.com), Florian is co-editor of several journal special issues, including an Organization & Environment special issue on “Business Models for Sustainability: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Transformation”, a special issue with Business & Society on “Collaborative Cross-Sector Business Models for Sustainability”, and a special issue on “Sustainable Value Creation Through Business Models” in the Journal of Business Models.

Florian’s most recent works deal with the identification and systematisation of business model patterns. Together with several international experts, including Lorenzo Massa, Alexandre Joyce, and Henning Breuer, Florian is setting up an extensive database on different types of business models, including a taxonomy of 45 sustainable business models and a typology of business models for the circular economy. Furthermore, he is working on the theoretical and empirical foundations of sustainable business models, for example from a stakeholder theory perspective or studies on the impacts of collaborative consumption business models.

In 2013, Florian founded www.SustainableBusinessModel.org as an international research hub with 25+ members from more than 10 countries. This hub serves as a communication platform for the wider field of sustainability and business model studies. Florian is member of various international research networks, including the Strongly Sustainable Business Model Group at OCAD University and the New Business Models Network which facilitates the International Conference on New Business Models. He is also a research fellow at the Centre for Sustainability Management (CSM) at Leuphana University as well as the SustBusy Research Center of ESCP Europe. Florian was also a visiting researcher at Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) and the Universities of Halmstad (Sweden), St. Gallen (Switzerland), and Stellenbosch (South Africa).

Astrid Tröster Assistant, Berlin Academic Chairs - Corporate Sustainability ESCP Europe

Astrid Tröster

Tobias Froese, Berlin Campus, ESCP Europe

Tobias Froese

Research assistant / PhD student