Tag Archives: IGEL

Greening in Sports, a Game Changer

Drexel student Danny Ricciardi wrote “Greening in Sports, a Game Changer” for Buzz On Broad. Read the full article here.

We live in a world where a change is needed, because a change is coming. The environment is not what it used to be, and the things we live on are the reason why. Before you read this please know that this is not a lecture on climate change or how you should recycle. Although you should recycle, this is a bigger movement.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a nonprofit environmental organization that since 1970, have worked to protect the world’s natural resources. The organization was created to protect public health, the environment and the world’s natural resources. The NRDC has more than 1.3 million members, and that number continues to grow.

Continue reading on Buzz On Broad’s website

Leadership in Greening the Sports Industry Conference – Wharton IGEL, NRDC, WSBI

GreeningSportsConfHeaderWant to know more about greening sports?

Join the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL), the Wharton Sports Business Initiative (WSBI), and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) at the Leadership in Greening the Sports Industry Conference on Friday, September 20, 2013.

The conference will feature speakers from the Yankees, the Miami HEAT, the Seattle Mariners, NASCAR, and more, in addition to a closing keynote from Frances Beinecke, President of the NRDC. The event’s objective is to examine the best business practices for sports organizations to improve environmental performance and become leaders in sustainable development. Discussions will highlight leadership, corporate partnerships, communications, fan engagement, resource management and merchandise, as well as potential future business opportunities.

This event is open to the public and free of charge: click here to register.

Penn Enactus Launches Recycling Initiative for Veterans

by Penn Enactus

2013-02-28 20.24.35A close-up of the first mosaic made of recycled tiles and mirrors by the Penn Enactus Green Initiative team. Courtesy of Penn Enactus

In the fall of 2012, our group of students from the University of Pennsylvania undertook the monumental challenge of starting Penn Enactus, the Penn chapter of the entrepreneurial organization Enactus. Our team reached out to various business leaders and faculty members  to gather a sizable Business Advisory Board, and also greatly benefited from the guidance of Professor Keith W. Wiegelt of the Wharton School, and Joanne Spigonardo, Associate Director of the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (Wharton IGEL).

One of Penn Enactus’ three current start-up projects is the Green Initiative, created with guidance and support from Wharton IGEL. With environmental sustainability and economic welfare in mind, the Green Initiative team takes an ambitious approach to a common social problem: unemployed military veterans. Combining the determination of the target group, and the use of recycled tiles, mirrors and pottery, we are teaching veterans in the Philadelphia area the skills they need to make, market, and sell mosaic artworks. Continue reading

The 2013 Wharton IGEL Conference Workshop


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:

Love Coca-Cola not for its taste but for its efforts

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 →

Local Economy in a Global World

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 →

Survey: Risk of Drought in the United States

by Sharon Muli*

Water covers 70.9% of the Earth’s surface. However, only 3% of the Earth’s water is freshwater, and 68.7% of this freshwater is in glaciers, 30% is ground water, and 0.3% is surface water.  Humans depend on freshwater for a wide variety of uses, and this finite amount of water must be properly managed and allocated.

The chart below shows the uses of freshwater in the U.S. The chart highlights the nexus between water, food, energy –the focus of the upcoming Wharton IGEL Conference on March 20-21, 2013.  The two leading uses of freshwater withdrawals in the U.S. are thermoelectric power and irrigation, and any significant change in water use in these sectors will likely have an impact on the other categories.

US Freshwater Withdrawals

How do droughts affect our country?  As part of a group project for the Wharton course Risk Analysis and Environmental Management, Penn students Sharon Muli, Brent Ginsberg, Zenia Zelechiwsky, and Yaowen Ma are gathering data on how individuals perceive the risk of drought. The focus of this project is to investigate the likelihood of more droughts occurring in the United States in the future and to shed light on their associated impacts.

Please click here to take a survey to help us with our investigation.  The survey takes approximately 2-3 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation.

*Sharon Muli is enrolled in Penn’s Master of Environmental Studies program with a concentration in Environmental Policy.  She has a background in Biology, is particularly interested in water issues and corporate sustainability, and currently works as a Product Sustainability Co-op at Johnson & Johnson.

A Portable Environmental Economics Lab

by Yixiu Zheng*

I started working on this project last semester, while taking a course in environmental economics.

As a subfield of economics, environmental economics draws on both microeconomics and macroeconomics[i], but it also has unique concepts of its own. I have seen that students who have never studied economics before can find terms like “property rights” and “marginal abatement cost” overwhelming. While scholars of economics often use historical data and experiments, environmental economics is a relatively recent discipline, developed first in 1950s in the U.S.[ii] There aren’t many experiments to build upon; for instance, the water rights trade doesn’t have a large scope of application, except for some arid areas like California and Australia. So how are students supposed to fully understand and apply these concepts in the real world?

I learn best through direct experience. This type of teaching doesn’t seem boring to me. And in fact, it is suggested that people do have a better memory when they put teachings into practice, for example, by trying to cook a meal rather than just reading its recipe. This is why I want to create a game about environmental economics. Continue reading

Community Engagement through Penn’s Sprouting Athletics Eco-Reps Program

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.
Continue reading

TNC is hiring a Lead Scientist

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.

Three Compelling Reasons to Study Sustainability

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

Adaptation: (Re)Building Sensibly

IGEL Fellow and Alumni Advisory Group member Bernard David wrote “Adaptation: (Re)Building Sensibly” for the Huffington Post. See the full article here.

It is now time to look forward to healing in the aftermath of Sandy. We have a lot of questions to ask ourselves to ensure we aren’t in a challenging place in the future.

1) Do we believe that a changing climate will continue to shower us with random natural disasters, especially along our coastlines?

2) If we believe that we will experience future events that might put us in harm’s way, what should we do about it?  Continue reading on the Huffington Post’s website