Smeal's Center for the Business of Sustainability partners with Perdue Farms

February 13, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — To help meet the significant challenges of world population growth and the rising demand for healthy protein, the Penn State Smeal College of Business has announced a partnership with Perdue Farms as a founding member of the college’s Center for the Business of Sustainability (CBoS).

The United Nations predicts that the world’s population will increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, which will greatly impact the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for improving economic prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. Additionally, consumer demand for healthy protein is expected to remain strong.

The partnership between the Smeal CBoS and Perdue Farms unites two agricultural powerhouses. Penn State’s land-grant legacy has embedded agriculture into its DNA. Perdue Farms brings 100 years of business acumen in the poultry, premium meat, and agriculture oil and grain industry.

“We are excited to add a company with the history and reputation of Perdue Farms to our growing list of founding members,” Smeal Director of Sustainability Erik Foley said. “Perdue has long been an industry leader in responsible food and agriculture. Its commitment to consider the environment in every business decision is a stance we heartily embrace.”

As a founding member, Perdue will have access to sustainability-focused research and education services that can help it manage and take advantage of its social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities.

When fully funded, the center will enable Smeal to cultivate the best practices and leaders that enable corporations to implement multidimensional, scalable business solutions by considering new and exciting approaches to business challenges, accounting for the social and environmental impact of decision-making.

Those overarching goals will be met by Smeal faculty conducting research; integrating leading-edge concepts into undergraduate and graduate curriculum; hosting events aimed at bringing together managers, executives, faculty and students; and partnering with investors, business managers, NGOs and governments to host business plan competitions focused on market-based sustainable development solutions.

“At Perdue, we believe in responsible food and agriculture and have been at the forefront of many industry initiatives to address environmental, social and health concerns related to the poultry industry,” said Steve Levitsky, Perdue Farms vice president of sustainability.

“As we celebrate our 100th year in business, we are honored to become a founding member of the Penn State Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability to further our commitment to environmental stewardship. This mutually beneficial partnership will allow us to work closely with the University and have access to their world-class research that can help to inform some of our environmental innovations to create a more sustainable future.” 

Perdue Farms joins other leading businesses as founding members of the Smeal CBoS, including Verizon and IBM. Foley said the Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability hopes to recruit 20 companies as founding members. The power of those partnerships, coupled with the collective research capability of Smeal’s faculty members, will enable the center to be a leader in the business of sustainability.

Perdue Farms is a fourth-generation, family owned, U.S. food and agriculture company. Through its belief in responsible food and agriculture, it is empowering consumers, customers and farmers through trusted choices in products and services.

The Perdue brand is the number-one brand of fresh chicken in the U.S., and the company is the leader in organic chicken in the U.S., and Perdue AgriBusiness is an international agricultural products and services company. Now in its centennial year, its path forward is about getting better, not just bigger. It never uses drugs for growth promotion in raising poultry and livestock, and it is actively advancing its animal welfare programs. Its brands are leaders in no-antibiotics-ever chicken, turkey and pork, and in USDA-certified organic chicken. Learn more at

More information about the Penn State Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability can be found online. Companies interested in becoming Founding Members can call 814-863-1314 or email

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Last Updated February 13, 2020