By Silvia Schmid
William McDonough at the Sustainable Brands Conference “From Revolution to Renaissance” in San Diego (Courtesy of Sustainable Brands)
Sustainable Brands’ 2013 Conference “From Revolution to Renaissance” took place this past week in San Diego, bringing together hundreds of professionals and thought leaders in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Sustainable Brands is a supporting member of the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL).
Though many topics were addressed, three of the most salient themes from the conference were:
- Transitioning towards transparency and full disclosure
- Maintaining initial values while navigating through big data
- Changing perspectives on sustainability
Posted in business sustainability, CSR, events, Sustainability, Wharton IGEL
Tagged business, corporate sustainability, environment, leadership, management, metrics, supply chain management, Wharton
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 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
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 Silvia Schmid
Jami Leveen, Director of Marketing and Environmental Stewardship, ARAMARK Sports & Entertainment
Aside from its benefits to society, business sustainability has become valuable in its own right for those enterprises moving to achieve it properly – and market it honestly. As part of their joint seminar series, Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership and the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania invited Jami Leveen, Director of Marketing and Environmental Stewardship for ARAMARK’s Sports & Entertainment division, to speak about the company’s sustainability practices.
Due to their celebrity, professional athletes are often trendsetters in a variety of settings from fashion to films. But a growing green trend has seen athletes in the US –and their sporting facilities– emerging as leaders also in environmental stewardship. Sporting events, which, aside from the games themselves, are perhaps best characterized by massive consumption and waste, are opportune spots to communicate a message of environmental sustainability. The large audience, and the tendency for many fans to imitate their favorite players, can strongly influence behavior inside and outside the stadium. In the words of Ms. Leveen: if Derek Jeter tells his fans to recycle, there is a much better chance they will spend those extra 1.2 seconds choosing the right bin. But the impact can be felt beyond simply the behavior of fans. The purchasing power of sports venues also puts pressure on vendors and the rest of the supply chain. Continue reading
Posted in business sustainability, CSR, reduce, Sustainability, sustainability in sports, Wharton IGEL
Tagged business, corporate sustainability, environment, leadership, management, Spring 2013, sustainability
The Nature Conservancy, a sponsor of Wharton IGEL, is hiring a Lead Scientist with a PhD, post-doctoral experience and at least 10 years of related expertise in areas such as ecosystem services, anthropology, economics, rural sociology, psychology, human geography, etc. Check out the job description to find out more about this opportunity. Mention that you found this posting on the Wharton IGEL blog.
Author Silvia Schmid is a graduate of the Master of Environmental Studies program at the University of Pennsylvania and takes care of communications and web content management for IGEL. Opinions represented in blog posts and research briefs represent the opinions of the authors only, not of Wharton, IGEL, or the University of Pennsylvania.
Last week, Wharton’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative hosted Sustainable Brands’ “New Metrics of Sustainability”, a two-day conference centered on innovations in environmental analysis and reporting. The conversation engaged the audience of business leaders and sustainability professionals on the ever-evolving issue of quantifying sustainability efforts in business. Among the primary topics discussed were the standardization of sustainability context and the implementation of more intelligible indicators and reporting guidelines.