Sustainable Growth Initiative (SGI)

A cross-faculty venture that mobilizes academics, students, industry, and policy leaders to build actionable solutions that businesses can use to successfully transition to a sustainable economy.

Delve: Why Accounting Holds the Key to Successful Sustainability Initiatives, with Brian Wenzel

Why Accounting Holds the Key to Successful Sustainability Initiatives, with Brian Wenzel

SMEs and the Road to Sustainability with McGill’s SGI


To create a global hub of knowledge creation and dissemination in sustainability to help businesses and policymakers contribute more effectively to a sustainable society.


To mobilize the talent and expertise within McGill University to help businesses move towards more socially and environmentally sustainable business models.

The Sustainable Growth Initiative

In response to this need, we are launching the Sustainable Growth Initiative (SGI) with a mandate to help businesses transition to a socially and environmentally sustainable model. The SGI is dedicated to building practical, constructive, and applied solutions for key issues challenging sustainable growth.

Anchored at the McGill Desautels Faculty of Management, the SGI is a cross-faculty partnership with the Faculty of Law, the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Arts, and the Max Bell School of Public Policy. The SGI is designed to operate as an integrated ecosystem that mobilizes researchers, industry leaders, policy-makers, and students through 5 pillars:

  1. Research-to-action: researchers work with industry leaders to develop applied solutions to complex sustainability challenges.
  2. Engagement: workshops designed to foster dialogue between Academic, Industry, and Policy stakeholders and decision-makers around sustainable growth.
  3. Student competitions: large-scale competitions to mobilize and focus global student talent towards building applied solutions. The SGI’s Annual Grand Challenge (AGC) will launch global student case competitions and build on the success of the McGill International Portfolio Challenge (MIPC). 
  4. Thought leadership: broadcast all the major activities in research, resulting solutions, industry partnerships and student competitions that are driving the sustainable growth agenda.
  5. Education: ESG training platform in response to practitioner and student demand for ESG integration.

A unique and innovative structure

Activities under the 5 pillars will be guided by a number of priority themes or “Offices” sponsored by an industry partner. A good example is an Office for Decarbonization, which will initiate activities from the 5 activity pillars that are dedicated to helping businesses achieve net-zero carbon emissions in the next 30 years.

In addition to the constant priority themes, the SGI will also launch an Annual Grand Challenge each year that reflects one of the current and predominant sustainable growth issues facing the industry. Like the Initiative’s priority themes, the Grand Challenge will have Research-to-Action, Engagement, Thought Leadership, Student Competitions, and Education activities devoted to it.

The successive nature of the Annual Grand Challenge keeps the SGI engaged with the most timely and pressing issues. This allows the Initiative to build a constant social and media presence, which is necessary for the SGI to remain relevant and effective. The Annual Grand Challenge will also bring together a large pool of McGill researchers to tackle a wide range of complex sustainability challenges.

Impact and benefits for corporate partners

  • Opportunity to work with academics on complex sustainability challenges that impact your industry
  • Access to talent trained in ESG integration
  • Visibility on the main activities developed by the SGI
  • Ability to drive real change on sustainable growth

Past Events

Other collaborations

CDSI Speaker Series: Morgan Edwards (March 2023)

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