Raised in a beautiful Parisian village, Prof. Delmas admits that it wasn’t difficult for her to fall in love with California and its optimism. “It was such a sharp contrast with the pessimism I experienced in Europe,” Delmas says.
With a passion for the environment and sustainability, Delmas felt that California, with its abundance of innovative solutions, was the best place to conduct research and develop cutting-edge approaches to business sustainability. A career in academia afforded her the optimal freedom to pursue that focus.
“I have worked in the corporate world (corporate strategy of a big engineering firm, management consulting) and in a big administration, the European Commission. While I loved these experiences, I remained unsatisfied because I did not have the freedom to choose to work on problems that are important and interesting to me,” she says.
Her research includes a focus on what drives firms to adopt sustainable strategies and how they affect corporate and environmental performance. Her most recent work demonstrated how a firm’s commitment to sustainability can have a positive impact on the motivation and productivity of its employees. It even extends into California’s wine industry.
“It is very rewarding to think that you could make a difference through your research to solve important problems,” she says.
UCLA Anderson provides Delmas with the ideal environment to gain new knowledge and carry out research that contributes to her field or serves community needs.
“At Anderson, I work with faculty and students from various departments (strategy, management and organizations and operations) to develop innovative solutions for business sustainability,” she says. “The UCLA campus also provides wonderful opportunities to be used as a living laboratory and conduct experimental research: 60,000 people sleep, eat and work at UCLA every day. I have been fortunate to conduct several field experiments in UCLA housing to understand the drivers of energy-conservation behavior.”
Delmas’ courses in business sustainability are offered at UCLA Anderson and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She also co-directs, with Prof. Charles Corbett, the Leaders in Sustainability Certificate. This certificate program, open to all UCLA masters and doctoral graduate students, aims to provide a mechanism for students to pursue their interests in sustainability and to collaborate with students from different fields.
“I find teaching a very rewarding experience because I can influence the way the next generation thinks about business sustainability,” Delmas says. “And I love graduate students. My favorite part is when they come back to campus after they graduate and tell me they loved my class.”
Find out more about Prof. Delmas at her Anderson homepage.