Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business is establishing the Center on Business Strategies for Sustainability, thanks to a three-year, $750,000 grant recently awarded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.
Through its focus on sustainable business practices, which aim to minimize negative impact on the environment and society, the center plans to:
- Generate and disseminate high-impact research in business strategies and innovation for sustainability.
- Teach students – tomorrow's engineers, managers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs – how to integrate cutting-edge business principles, science, and technology to further sustainability objectives throughout their careers.
- Partner effectively with industry to accelerate the development and adoption of best practices concerning sustainable business.
"The Scheller College has numerous faculty actively engaged in this area, rivaling many top business schools," says Scheller College Dean Steve Salbu. "Our College's strong focus in the management of technology, innovation, and commercialization is highly relevant to the adoption and management of green tech. The opportunity to leverage these core strengths for high-visibility, high-impact leadership in sustainable business research and education has never been greater, and I am very excited by the potential created with the founding of the Center on Business Strategies for Sustainability."
Operations Management Professor and Brady Family Chair Beril Toktay, who spearheaded the effort to win the grant, says, "Interest in sustainability has grown tremendously in both the business world and academia. When I first started my career, not that many people were researching it. But Scheller College now has faculty in different areas, from operations and finance to business ethics and marketing, addressing various aspects of sustainability, including socially responsible investing, environmental economics, and sustainable operations. We hope to leverage all of this expertise through the new center and pursue collaborative, value-adding partnerships within the broader sustainability community at Georgia Tech and beyond."
Other faculty members integral to the development of the center proposal include Atalay Atasu, Manpreet Hora, and Ravi Subramanian (operations management); Omar Rodriguez-Vila and Koert van Ittersum (marketing); Wade Chumney and Lucien Dhooge (law and ethics); Terry Blum (organizational behavior, Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship); and Sudheer Chava (finance).
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation was created in honor of the late Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), the founder of Interface, a residential and commercial carpet manufacturer. During his time at Interface, Anderson championed the notion of businesses doing well by doing good, including environmental stewardship and sustainability.
"It is a great privilege to have the ground-breaking support of the Ray Anderson Foundation," Toktay says. "What we want to achieve is so congruent with Ray Anderson's vision that I really cannot imagine any other partnership that would be more inspiring to us and send a more powerful message to the world about our aspirations: to do groundbreaking, high-impact research, and to educate the Ray Andersons of the future."