Smeal’s sustainability efforts continue to expand

May 18, 2015

The Penn State Smeal College of Business’ commitment to sustainability grew stronger during the spring semester on a variety of fronts. And there is more to come in the near future according to Terry Harrison, the college’s lead on sustainability-related initiatives.

“We have a strategic plan for sustainability that sets a road map for our activities going forward,” said Harrison, professor of supply chain and information systems and the Earl P. Strong Executive Education Professor in Business. “We continue to generate more ideas and dedicate more resources. With our continued integration into curriculum, our sustainability and social innovation MBA option looks more and more appealing.”

One highlight came in April when, in the span of a week, two nationally recognized sustainability leaders — Leo Mackay, Lockheed Martin vice president, ethics and sustainability, and Mark Pinsky, the board chairman of Net Impact and president and CEO of Opportunity Finance Network —visited the Business Building.

“Bringing speakers of this magnitude to Smeal plays an important role. It exposes students to the best thinking in sustainability, thought leaders in that area. They also learn about us and how valued sustainability is at Smeal. It’s a two-way exchange,” Harrison said.

Other sustainability efforts included:

A Smeal Sustainability Workshop Lunch featured a presentation by Veronica Villena, assistant professor of supply chain management. Villena is researching how multi-national companies are starting to require Tier 1 suppliers in their supply chains to assure sustainability practices are being adhered to by Tier 2 suppliers.

In that same workshop, Judd Michael, professor of sustainable enterprises in Penn State’s Institutes of Energy and the Environment, detailed how a group of students helped with Penn State’s efforts in trying to achieve zero waste during home football games in the president’s suite at Beaver Stadium.

In addition, several new initiatives were announced:

Charles H. Whiteman, John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal, has announced three sustainability awards, one each for an undergraduate and graduate student, and one for a faculty member.

Several students will be selected to attend the national 2015 Net Impact Conference on Nov. 5-7 in Seattle, Washington.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 18, 2015