Renowned business sustainability expert to visit campus

contact: Stacey Markin
| WMU News
Photo of Sean Ansett.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A leading authority on sustainable value chains will visit WMU’s Haworth College of Business in April to speak about the complexities of sustainable manufacturing using Fairphone as an example.

Sean Ansett, founder of At Stake Advisors, senior associate at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and chief sustainability officer at Fairphone—a social enterprise and a top-five global crowdfunding campaign—will speak at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in 2000 Schneider Hall. His talk is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Lot 72R.

Sean Ansett

Ansett has more than 15 years of experience in the sustainability sector. His consultancy provides strategic advice to corporations, social enterprise startups, UN agencies and non-profit organizations on ethical trade, stakeholder engagement, human rights and global environmental sustainability.

Ansett served as the executive director of the Bangladesh Safety Accord, involving more than 160 global brands, 1,600 factories and two million workers.

He was formerly the director of corporate responsibility at Burberry in London, where he and his team were responsible for ethical trade, environmental sustainability and community investment. Prior to Burberry, he was the director of global partnerships at Gap Inc., where he was the architect behind Gap Inc.’s stakeholder engagement strategy and partnership initiatives and an early intrepreneur—acting like an entrepreneur while working within a large organization—in global value chain human rights initiatives.

He has served on several global multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the Advisory Board of Social Accountability International, the Global Reporting Initiative’s G3 expert committee and the Ethical Trading Initiative. He is a founding member of the Managed Funds Association Forum and an advisory board member of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s committee responsible for launching a guide to including corporate sustainability indicators in financial reporting.

Ansett is chairman of the board of Liberty & Justice Clothing, a Liberian Fair Trade clothing manufacturer, and advises LaborVoices and Made in Africa, among others.

He has been featured in Bloomberg, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal and is published in numerous academic journals, including MIT-Sloan Management Review. Ansett also contributed as a sustainability expert in two General Electric corporate responsibility reports.

A former United States Peace Corps and World Food Program volunteer, Ansett is fluent in Spanish. He has his master’s degree in sustainability leadership from the University of Cambridge as well as a Master’s of Science in business administration.

For more information or to arrange media coverage, contact Stacey Markin, director of marketing and communications for the Haworth College of Business, at or (269) 387-6936.

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