by Silvia Schmid
Last week’s conference “Building Energy Efficiency: Seeking Strategies that Work” offered the opportunity to discuss the many barriers to advancements in energy efficiency beyond current standards. The event was cohosted by the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), the Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, and the Wharton Small Business Development Center, in partnership with the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub and sponsored by SAP. Speakers and panelists provided valuable insights on the current status of energy efficiency in buildings, addressing topics ranging from consumption measurement and increased transparency, to some of the psychological challenges inherent in adopting more energy efficient behavior. The common message throughout the day was how much remains to be done to make energy efficiency a mainstream priority.
Posted in energy, energy efficiency, events, IGEL Conferences, reduce, resource use, Sustainability, Wharton, Wharton IGEL
Tagged business, climate change, corporate sustainability, energy, resource use, Spring 2013, sustainability, Wharton
Thank you to all the speakers and participants of our 2013 Wharton IGEL Conference Workshop! Please make sure to visit the conference page for pictures and speaker presentations. In addition, a Knowledge@Wharton Special Report on the conference will be released soon, so stay tuned!
In the meantime please check out the following blog posts from Oikos Penn students Ruchi Shah and Leah Khaler, who covered our 2013 IGEL Conference:
by Ruchi Shah
Businesses and brands are increasingly obliged to healthy communities and constituents for their bottom-line growth. On March 21, 2013 at the IGEL Conference-Workshop on The Nexus of Energy, Food and Water, Coca- Cola talked about their sustainability goals and accomplishments. Continue reading →
by Leah Khaler
Entrepreneur, activist, and White Dog Café founder, Judy Wicks provided a different perspective at the 2013 IGEL conference at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Continue reading →
Posted in business sustainability, IGEL Conferences, resource use, students, Sustainability, Wharton IGEL
Tagged corporate sustainability, environment, IGEL, Spring 2013, students, sustainability, Wharton
by Samantha Guidon*
Robert Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Harvard University. Courtesy of Stephanie Nam/Penn Law.
On February 27, 2013, Harvard University’s Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government Robert Stavins came to Penn for a presentation entitled “Climate Change, the IPCC, and International Policy Architecture” as a part of the Risk Regulation Seminar Series, an initiative jointly sponsored by the Penn Program on Regulation, the Wharton Risk Management & Decision Processes Center, and the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL). Continue reading
Posted in climate, economics, Investing, Risk Management, Sustainability, Wharton IGEL
Tagged climate change, environment, leadership, Spring 2013, sustainability, Wharton
by Silvia Schmid*
To some, the idea of a sustainable paper and packaging company can produce an uncomfortable cognitive dissonance, perhaps conjuring up imagery of clear cutting and Styrofoam. Yet as much as we would like to think, do not print emails and traveling mugs are hardly going to replace the paper and packaging products that consumers want, firms demand, and on which the economy relies every day. Although this doesn’t mean that there is nothing being done. There are plenty of efforts to nudge consumer behavior toward the more sustainable, and, as attendees at a recent lecture at Wharton found out, the paper and packaging industry itself certainly considers issues of sustainability.
The Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL) invited David Kiser, Ph.D., Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability at International Paper (IP) and a member of the IGEL Corporate Advisory Board, to speak about the company’s sustainability initiatives. The lecture was cosponsored by the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Continue reading
Posted in business sustainability, events, forests, resource use, Sustainability, sustainable forestry, water, Wharton IGEL
Tagged corporate sustainability, environment, leadership, Penn, resource use, Spring 2013, sustainability, sustainable supply chain, Wharton
Doug Miller, former Wharton IGEL Staff member, Penn alumnus, and now a Master’s student at Imperial College London, is currently working with three fellow graduate students on a project that investigates the factors affecting household investments in energy efficient technologies. Their survey aims to identify what determinants have the greatest impact on these investment decisions. They hope to receive responses from people living in the U.S., so that they can compare these to responses in Europe. The survey takes about 10 minutes on average to complete and will remain open until Friday.
Click here to begin the survey. Thank you for your participation.
by Candice D. McLeod*
On February 6th, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) held its 10th annual Renewable Energy Policy Forum on Capitol Hill. The event featured a host of industry, financial and government leaders, who spent the day discussing the progress of the renewable energy industry, from the industry’s current purgatorial state due to impending policy deadlines to the potential implications of the current fiscal and partisan climates.
The overall themes were clear – more financing options for renewables, renewable energy policy stability, and China setting the global rhythm.
Here are five main insights drawn from the forum:
- Renewable energy markets continue to grow significantly. Perhaps we should stop referring to them as “alternative sources” of energy
- Economic security -keep your eye on Iowa and rural America
- More policy stability, please
- More financing options -MLPs & REITs
- Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater
1. Renewable energy markets continue to grow significantly. Perhaps we should stop referring to them as “alternative sources” of energy
John R. Norris, Commissioner, U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opened the panel Renewable Energy Market Growth with the statement, “[if] it wasn’t for an economy that’s walking with a limp and a dramatic decrease in natural gas prices, the renewable energy market would be twice the size.” Continue reading
Posted in Clean Tech, energy, ethics, Investing, Sustainability, Wharton IGEL
Tagged clean tech, climate change, energy, leadership, venture capital, Wharton
by Marissa Rosen
Collegiate athletics programs can provide experiential learning and engage a broad audience, thus serving as a particularly attractive educational vehicle. Athletic teams and their events can build a school’s community, appeal to donors, strengthen alumni connections, attract prospective students, and generate school pride. They can also send a message of environmental sustainability.
Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL) sponsored last Tuesday’s official kick-off dinner for the University of Pennsylvania’s Athletics Eco-Reps program. Thirteen founding Varsity athletes, along with coaches and supporting staff, have been strategizing since last fall to reduce their teams’ environmental impact, addressing water and energy conservation issues, recycling rates, fan engagement, and responsible sourcing. Penn’s unique program is part of the Ivy League Conference’s collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council Green Sports group and the Green Sports Alliance.
Posted in business sustainability, events, reduce, students, Sustainability, sustainability in sports, Wharton IGEL
Tagged corporate sustainability, environment, IGEL, leadership, NRDC, Penn, students, sustainability, Wharton
by Peter Woolsey*
Were you aware of the fact that Benjamin Franklin, founder of the University of Pennsylvania, discovered the North Atlantic drift in his voyages across the Atlantic? He also tamed electricity, advocated a frugal use of resources, and laid out a series of rules for a sustainable lifestyle. Continue reading
Why Every Student Should Take an Environmental Management Course
By Gary Survis*
When I graduated Wharton in 1986, sustainability wasn’t even on my radar screen. Sure the concept existed (it had been introduced in the early 1970s), but the idea of combining business and environment were as unlikely a combination as Barak Obama and Newt Gingrich. It took me many years, and the evolution of business, to learn that sustainable business in not an oxymoron and represents instead a core knowledge base for virtually every student. Today, students have the opportunity to gain this understanding while at Penn and, I believe should do so, for three compelling reasons.
1) Sustainability is Ubiquitous. We have moved beyond the hype of the first ten years of the new millennium (think Leonardo DiCaprio attending the Academy Awards in a Prius to demonstrate his dedication to sustainability). Today, in every facet of our daily existence, whether it is agriculture, energy, computing, or just about anything we touch, sustainable practices are becoming the norm. I believe, currently, that there are sustainable ways to do things and un-sustainable ways. In the future, there will just be one “way” which will be the norm… And that will be the sustainable one. Continue reading