Walton College Professor in 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics

Ethisphere Institute selects Walton College professor among top 100 with impact

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Jon Johnson, executive director of the Applied Sustainability and professor of management

Jon Johnson, executive director of the Applied Sustainability and professor of management

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Ethisphere Institute of New York City announced that Jon Johnson, executive director of the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas, was among in the top 100 individuals who have had significant impact in the realm of business ethics in 2009.

Johnson, a professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business, was ranked at No. 23 alongside Jay S. Golden, with whom he co-directs the Sustainability Consortium. The consortium will be creating a scientific foundation for industry standards of measurement that will allow business decision makers to judge how sustainable consumer goods are. Golden is an assistant professor in the School of Sustainability and a faculty affiliate in the department of civil, environmental and sustainable engineering in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University.

The research-based Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anticorruption and sustainability. The institute’s associated membership group, the Ethisphere Council, is a forum for business ethics that includes more than 200 leading corporations, universities and institutions.

The Ethisphere Institute broke down the 100 winners into eight core categories: government and regulatory, design and sustainability, corporate culture, business leadership, media and whistleblowers, investment and research, nongovernmental organizations and thought leadership. Johnson and Golden were ranked with nongovernmental organizations.

Among the list of 100 is Mike Duke, the chief executive officer of Walmart Stores Inc., under business leadership. The institute said, “Duke played a key role in shaping the heightened expectations that his company has set for supplies worldwide via Walmart’s Sustainability Index, leveraging the retail giant’s clout to make thousands of companies around the globe more sustainable.

The Sustainability Consortium, jointly administered by the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University, is a partnership of researchers from leading global universities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and governmental agencies. The consortium’s initial goal is to establish credible, transparent and user-friendly scientific standards to assess the environmental and social impact of consumer products.

The consortium was formed in 2009 with an initial investment from Walmart Stores Inc. The partnership will conduct the development of a science-based, open source, product lifecycle assessment that will provide scientific innovations that lead to a new generation of sustainable products, materials and technologies.

Walmart officials emphasized that their intention is not to “own” a sustainability index, and consider its strength in success to be its design as a globally shared and open platform tool. The company expects that a global system of measurement and reporting will drive innovation, highlight opportunities for cost savings and waste reduction and create a common playing field for all. Further, the consortium will be able to track how corporate sustainability initiatives are affecting environmental and social impacts and driving innovation and green jobs.

The Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas leads organizations in the retail and consumer goods industries toward sustainable practices that support an economy built around people, planet and profit. This is accomplished by solving complex problems, providing expert guidance, brokering problems and solutions, and by sponsoring research. The center is an interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Arkansas, housed in the Sam M. Walton College of Business.

Along with directing the center, Johnson is the Walton College Professor of Sustainability.


Jon Johnson, executive director, Applied Sustainability Center
Sam M. Walton College of Business
479-575-6227, jonjohn@uark.edu