Publication Date

Fall 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Interdisciplinary Studies


Dr. William J. Reckmeyer


Bottom of the Economic Pyramid, Corporate Social Responsibility Programs, Corporate sustainability, Global citizenship, Sustainability, Triple Bottom Line

Subject Areas

Sustainability; Business; Management


With the increasing complexities of a globalized 21st-century world, the growing power of industry clusters makes corporations important actors in designing sustainable development strategies. This thesis presents an applied case study at CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) as the company designed and launched its award-winning Sensible Sustainability platform. The research was conducted to determine how a large multinational company could create a business case for sustainability, and the results illustrate that value exists for firms engaged in sustainability initiatives.

CBRE's initial no-cost and low-cost activities resulted in increased operational efficiencies and lower costs. Over the course of the research period, the company migrated toward its more strategic Planet Building strategy and has begun to merge its financials with an environmental and a growing social agenda that supports the Triple Bottom Line of transformative sustainability. As a result, the company is engaged with more diverse stakeholders in new markets and is realizing the benefits of increased brand reputation, improved relationships with more demanding clients, and increased market share and revenue