Magali Delmas

Profile photo of Magali Delmas
“There’s an enormous appetite for making the planet more sustainable — and an enormous potential in the marketplace for driving sustainability choices.”

Professor of Management

(310) 825-9310

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Ethics
  • Business Strategy
  • Conservation Behavior
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Eco-Labels
  • Energy
  • Socially Responsible Investing
  • Wine Economics




Magali Delmas is a professor of management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Her research interests lie primarily in the areas of business strategy, corporate sustainability and socially responsible investing. "Standing at the crossroads of policy, economics and management," she says, "I seek to understand the effectiveness of information strategies to promote conservation behavior."

Delmas has written more than 70 articles, book chapters and case studies on business and the natural environment. She works on developing effective information strategies to promote conservation and the development of green markets. "Dark green consumers represent as small a segment of the population as do 'brown' consumers," she says. "Research tells us that consumers buy green products when they benefit not just the environment, but the consumer." Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, and Delmas calls that segment the "convenient environmentalists."  

Her current research includes the investigation of the barriers and incentives to the adoption of energy-efficient solutions. Using insights from behavioral science, she developed the UCLA Engage program to determine whether real-time, appliance-level energy consumption feedback in 120 university apartments could be used as an effective tool to promote energy conservation among rate payers. "We wanted to understand what motivates people to save energy, and figure out how to most effectively frame information about energy usage so people are encouraged to conserve," Delmas says. Whereas people usually say that cost savings will motivate them, Delmas' team found that it proves to be the least effective strategy in changing behavior. More compelling to most consumers is how their energy use affects their personal health.  

In that spirit, Delmas launched the free downloadable UCLA Air4U app, which leverages U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitoring data to increase public awareness and drive public engagement toward health protection during periods of poor air quality. "We're finding that you have to bundle the public good with the private good. Our message about health and the environment reminds people that environmentalism is also about them and their kids." In other words, people are inclined to conserve when they can measure the direct consequences of something like carbon emissions to their own lives and health.  

Delmas is also engaged in refining current methodologies to measure and communicate firms' and products' environmental performance, receiving widespread media attention for studies involving eco-labeling of biodynamic wines and "natural" cleaning products. She has studied climate lobbying and how corporate "greenwashing" undermines consumer and investor confidence.  

Delmas is the director of the UCLA Center for Corporate Environmental Performance. She is also president of the Alliance for Research in Corporate Sustainability (ARCS), an international organization that serves as a vehicle for advancing rigorous academic research on corporate sustainability concerns.



Ph.D. Strategic Management, 1996, HEC Paris

M.A. Political Science, 1989, University of Paris



2016 Organization & Environment Journal Best Paper Award

2016 OIKOS international case competition Prize Winner

2015 Academy of Management and Network for Business Sustainability Research Impact on Practice Award

2015 Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability Best Paper Award

2013 Academy of Management and Network for Business Sustainability Research Impact on Practice Award

2013 Academy of Management/Organization and the Natural Environment Best Paper Proceedings

2011 Organization and the Natural Environment Distinguished Service Award

2011 University of Syracuse Fetner Visiting Sustainability Leader

2011 Aspen Institute. Aspen Environment Forum Scholar

2010 American Association of Wine Economics Best Paper Award


Selected Publications

Asensio, O. I & Delmas, M. A., 2016. The Dynamics of Behavior Change: Evidence from Energy Conservation. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 126(A): 196-212

Delmas, M., Lim, J., and Nairn-Birch, N. 2016. Corporate Environmental Performance and Lobbying. Academy of Management Discoveries. 2(2): 1–23.

Delmas, M & Pekovic, S. Forthcoming. Organizational Configurations for Sustainability and Performance: A Qualitative Comparative Analysis approach. Business & Society.

Delmas, M & Pekovic, S. 2016. Corporate Sustainable Innovation and Employee Behavior. Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3163-1

Delmas, M., Gergaud, O. & Lim, J. 2016. Does Organic Wine Taste Better? An Analysis of Experts’ Ratings. Journal of Wine Economics.

Delmas, M., Nairn-Birch, N., and Lim, J. 2015. Dynamics of Environmental and Financial Performance: The Case of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Organization & Environment. 28(4): 374-393.

Asensio, O. I. and Delmas, M. 2015. NonPrice Incentives and Energy Conservation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. January. 112(6): E510-E515.

Chen, C-M., Delmas, M. & Lieberman, M. 2015. Production Frontier Methodologies and Efficiency as a Performance Measure in Strategic Management Research. Strategic Management Journal. 36: 19-36.

Chen V., Delmas, M., Kaiser, W., and Locke, S. 2015. What Can We Learn from High Frequency Appliance Level Energy Metering? Results from a Field Experiment. Energy Policy. 77: 164-175.

Delmas, M & Pekovic, S. 2015 Sustainability and Market Conditions: The Resource Efficiency Paradox. Long Range Planning. 48 (2): 80–94.

Delmas, M. & Lessem, N. 2015. Eco-Premium or Eco-Penalty? Eco-labels and Quality in the Organic Wine Market. Business & Society. doi:10.1177/0007650315576119.

Delmas, M., Gergaud, O. 2014. Sustainable Certification for Future Generations: the Case of Family Business. Family Business Review. 27(3): 206-227.

Delmas, M. & Lessem, N. 2014. Saving Power to Conserve your Reputation? The Effectiveness of Private versus Public Information. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. 67: 353-370.

Blass, V. Corbett, C., Delmas, M. & Muthulingam, S. 2014. Top Management Involvement in the Adoption of Energy Efficiency Projects. Energy. 65: 560-571.

Chen, V., Delmas, M., & Kaiser, W.J. 2014. Real-Time, Appliance-Level Electricity Use Feedback System: How to Engage Users? Energy and Buildings. 70: 455-462.

Delmas, M. & Grant, L. 2014. Eco-labeling Strategies and Price-Premium: The Wine Industry Puzzle. Business & Society. 53(1): 6–44.

Delmas, M., Fischlein, M & Asensio, O. 2013. Information Strategies and Energy Conservation Behavior: A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies from 1975 to 2012. Energy Policy. 61: 729–739.

Delmas, M., Nairn-Birch, N. & Michaela Balzarova, M. 2013. How Managers Can Choose the Most Effective Eco-Labels? Sloan Management Review.

Delmas, M., Etzion, D., & Nairn-Birch, N. 2013. Triangulating Environmental Performance: What do Corporate Social Responsibility Ratings Really Capture? Academy of Management Perspectives. 27(3): 255-267.

Delmas, M. & Pekovic, S. 2013. Environmental Standards and Labor Productivity. Journal of Organizational Behavior. 34(2): 230-252.

Chen, C-M. & Delmas, M. 2012. Measuring Eco-inefficiency: A New Frontier Approach. Operations Research. 60(5): 1064-1079.

Delmas, M. & Burbano, V. C. 2011. The Drivers of Greenwashing. California Management Review. 54(1): 64-87.

Delmas, M. & Montes-Sancho, M. 2011. US State Policies for Renewable Energy: Context and Effectiveness. Energy Policy. 39(5): 2273-2288.

Delmas, M, Hoffman V. & Kuss, M. 2011. Under the Tip of the Iceberg: Absorptive Capacity, Environmental Strategy and Competitive Advantage. Business & Society. 50(1): 116-154.

Chen, C-M. & Delmas, M. 2011. Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility: An Efficiency Perspective. Production and Operations Management. 20(6): 789-804.

Delmas, M. & Montes-Sancho, M. 2011. An Institutional Perspective on the Diffusion of International Management System Standards: the Case of the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001. Business Ethics Quarterly. 21(1): 103-132.

Delmas, M. & Montes-Sancho, M. 2010. Voluntary Agreements to Improve Environmental Quality: Symbolic and Substantive Cooperation. Strategic Management Journal. 31(6): 576-601.

Delmas, M. & Doctori-Blass, V. 2010. Measuring Corporate Environmental Performance: The trade-offs of Sustainability Ratings. Business Strategy & the Environment. 19: 245-260.

Delmas, M., Montes-Sancho, M. & Shimshack, J. 2010. Mandatory Information Disclosure Policy: Evidence from the electric utility industry, Economic Inquiry. 48(2): 483–498.

Delmas, M. & Montiel, I. 2009. Greening the Supply Chain: When is Customer Pressure Effective? Journal of Economics and Management Strategy. 18(1): 171-201.

Delmas, M & Toffel, M. 2008. Organizational Responses to Environmental Demands: Opening the Black Box, Strategic Management Journal. 29(10): 1027-1055.

Conti, J. A. Killpack, K., Gerritzen, G., Leia Huang, L., Maria Mircheva, M., Delmas, M., Herr Harthorn, B., P. Appelbaum, R.P., and Holden, P.A. 2008. Health and Safety Practices in the Nanomaterials Workplace: Results from an International Survey. Environmental Science & Technology Journal. 42(9): 3155-3162.

Delmas, M. & Montiel, I. 2008. The Diffusion of Voluntary International Management Standards: Responsible Care, ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 in the Chemical Industry, Policy Studies Journal. 36(1): 65-93.

Delmas, M., Russo, M. & Montes-Sancho, M. 2007 Deregulation and Environmental Differentiation in the Electric Utility Industry, Strategic Management Journal. 28(2):189- 209.

Delmas, M. & Keller, A. 2005. Strategic Free Riding in Voluntary Programs: the case of the US EPA Wastewise Program, Policy Sciences. 38: 91-106.

Delmas, M. & Tokat, Y. 2005. Deregulation, Efficiency and Governance Structures: The U.S. Electric Utility Sector, Strategic Management Journal. 26: 441-460.

Rivera, J. & Delmas, M. 2004. Business and Environmental Protection: An Introduction, Human Ecology Review. Special issue on Business and Environmental Policy.

Delmas, M. & Marcus, A. 2004. Firms’ choice of Regulatory Instruments to Reduce Pollution: a Transaction cost approach, Business and Politics: 6(3), Article 3.

Delmas, M. & Toffel, M. 2004 Stakeholders and Environmental Management Practices: An Institutional Framework, Business Strategy and the Environment. 13: 209-222.

Delmas, M. 2002. The Diffusion of Environmental Management Standards in Europe and in the United States: an institutional perspective, Policy Sciences. 35 (1): 1-119.

Delmas, M. & Terlaak, A. 2002. Regulatory Commitment to Negotiated Agreements: Evidence from the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and France, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. 4(1): 5-29.

Delmas, M. 2002. Innovating against European rigidities: Institutional Environment and Dynamic Capabilities, Journal of High Technology Management Research: 13(1): 18-42.

Delmas, M. 2001. Stakeholders and Competitive Advantage: the case of ISO 14001, Production and Operation Management. 10(3): 343-358.

Delmas, M. & Heiman, B. 2001. Government Credible Commitment in the French and American Nuclear Industry, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 20(3): 434-456. 45. Delmas, M. & Terlaak, A. 2001. A Framework for Analyzing Environmental Voluntary Agreements, California Management Review. 43(3): 44-63.

Delmas, M. 2000. Barriers and Incentives to the adoption of ISO 14001 in the United States, Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Fall: 1-38.

Delmas, M. 1999 Exposing Strategic Assets to Create New Competencies: The Case of Hazardous Waste Management Industry, Industrial and Corporate Change vol. 8(4) p. 635- 672.

Bonardi, J.P. & Delmas, M. 1996. The Impact of Regulatory Uncertainty on Strategies of Hazardous Wastes Processing: The Example of Chemical Companies in Europe, Gérer et Comprendre, 46: 4-15 (Published in French). BOOKS AND BOOK CHAPTERS

Delmas, M. & Toffel, M. 2011. Institutional Pressures and Organizational Characteristics: Implications for Environmental Strategy. In A. J. Hoffman & T. Bansal (Eds). Oxford Handbook of Business and the Environment. Oxford, UK. 50. Delmas, M. & Young, O. 2009. Governance for the Environment: New Perspectives. Edited volume. Cambridge University Press.

Delmas, M. & Montiel, I. 2009. The Diffusion of Voluntary International Management Standards: Responsible Care, ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 in the Chemical Industry, in deLeon, P., & Rivera, J. (Eds.). Voluntary environmental programs: Potentials and assessments. Maryland: Lexington Books for the Policy Studies Organization.

Delmas, M., Russo, M., Montes-Sancho, M. & Tokat, Y. 2009. Deregulation, Efficiency and Environmental Performance: Evidence from the Electric Utility Industry, in Regulation, Deregulation & Reregulation. Edited by Michel Ghertman & Claude Menard. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Delmas, M. & Toffel, M. 2004. Institutional Pressure and Environmental Management Practices in New Perspective in Research on Corporate Sustainability: Stakeholders, Environment and Society. Edited by Sanjay Sharma and Mark Starik. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing: 230-245.

54. Delmas, M. & Mazurek, J. 2004. A Transaction Cost Perspective on Negotiated Agreements: The Case of the U.S. EPA XL Program in Voluntary Approaches to Climate Protection. An Economic assessment of Private-public Partnerships. Edited by Andrea Baranzini and Philippe Thalmann. Edward Elgar publishing.

Delmas, M. 2002. Environmental Management Standards and Globalization. in Dynamics of Regulatory Change: How Globalization Affects National Regulatory Policies. Edited by David Vogel and Robert Kagan. University of California Press/University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, Edited Volume #1.

Delmas, M. & Terlaak, A. 2002. The Institutional Environment of Voluntary Agreements in Organizations, Policy, and the Natural Environment. Edited by Andrew Hoffman and Marc Ventresca. Stanford University Press: 346-366.

Delmas, M. & Terlaak, A. 2001. Voluntary Agreements for the Environment: Institutional Constraints and Potential for Innovation in Environmental Contracts: Comparative Approaches to Regulatory Innovation in the United States and Europe. Edited by Kurt Deketelaere and Eric Orts. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers: 349-367.

Delmas, M., Heiman, B. & Ghertman, M. 1997. Institutional Environment Effects on Transaction Costs: A Comparative Analysis of the U.S. and French Nuclear Power Industry in Strategy, Structure and Style. Edited by H. Thomas, D. O’Neal and M. Ghertman. John Wiley & Sons: 283-299.

Delmas, M., Ghertman, M. & Obadia, J. 1997 Logistic Regression, Segmentation Modeling and Governance Choice in the Waste Management Industry in Statistical Models for Strategic Management. Edited by Ghertman, M., J. Obadia, & J-L. Arregle. Kluwer Academic Publishers: 261-275.