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They Know How Sustainability Connects to Your Business Education, do you?

Meet the Team Who Created Major Sustainability a new website for business educators and students to discover the unique contribution of each major to a business' social and environmental impact.

Sustainability is a business buzzword but what does it really mean? Students often asked: how it connect with my major? My career?

We set about answering those questions three years ago. We now have the best answers in the business, thanks to Center for the Business of Sustainability interns Riya Nandedkar, Zoe Cykosky, Saige Cestone, Victoria Kipiller, and Cecelia Minnick. They were supported by Suzanne Wright, Associate Teaching Professor in Accounting and Intern Advisor for the Major Sustainability website project. Their work built on the work of previous Smeal students Danielle Yzaguirre (SCIS 2017) and Evan Gorski (Finance 2018).

They have shown the unique contribution each major makes to sustainability and are excited to share it with you! Their work shows that sustainability is not a department, it's a strategy and a commitment that each business function contributes to.

Each section below provides:

  • brief statements of how each major contributes to the social and environmental impact of business

  • reflections from the student interns

Riya Nandedkar

Riya Nandedkar

Marketing and Supply Chain

Marketing is the business function that directly engages consumers, thereby allowing sustainable marketing to effectively position and promote sustainable consumption, both through product offerings and consumption models. On the other hand, supply chain is the business function responsible for evaluating how sustainability is relevant to a product or service supply chain, including product innovation, incorporating critical elements into product design for the circular economy, sourcing, procurement, supplier relations, manufacturing, logistics, packaging, and distribution.

Professor Johanna Slot (Assistant Professor of Marketing), helped develop the content of the marketing website and helped Riya better understand the concepts. Professor Slot was involved from the very beginning and was instrumental in developing the structure of the site and compartmentalizing the sections based on the topics to be included. It is great to see from a student’s perspective that sustainable marketing, green marketing, green labelling, certifications, LOHAS and consumer behaviors are topics that exist within. Lisa Bolton (Professor of Marketing), was also able to give feedback about the overall content of the impact marketing has on sustainability. Similarly, supply chain was a critical area Riya worked on with the help of Danielle Yzaguirre who created the first version of the site in 2017. “Danielle had already done a very comprehensive job of developing the website content and it made it straightforward for me to move that excellent content to the new platform." Riya worked closely with Evelyn Thomchick (Associate Professor of Supply Chain) to pull together and test with students information on a supply chain's impact on people (labor and human rights) and the environment (climate, air and water pollution, nonrenewable resource extraction).