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Empowering Students

Undergraduates

Undergraduate students have many opportunities to learn about and explore the intersection of sustainability and industry. Scheller offers two sustainability-focused electives and dozens of sustainability-relevant classes are available across campus. Those seeking further opportunities can tap into student clubs, nonprofit consulting, independent projects, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and a broad array of resources across Georgia Tech and in the community.

Sustainability-focused Electives at Scheller

Sustainable Business Practicum (MGT 4803) | Instructors: Michael Oxman & Bob Lax
Similar to our MBA-level practicum, this course immerses students in management consulting, sustainability, and project management, following the best practices outlined in The Mckinsey Mind. The majority of the course focuses on real-world sustainability projects (those with an environmental or social dimension that impacts business risk or opportunity) with student teams developing practical recommendations and solutions for participating company sponsors. 

**Course counts as an elective for the Operations and Supply Chain Management and Strategy and Innovation Concentrations (BA Majors.) 

 “This course was an amazing experience for me and has been one of my favorites that I've taken at Tech. I learned so much but also had a lot of fun”

“One of the most practical and impactful classes I have taken in Scheller”

“The course offered me the opportunity to hear from inspiring sustainability speakers, solve complex business problems, and gain exposure to the consulting industry.”

 

 

Business Decisions for Sustainability and Shared Value (MGT 4803) | Instructor: Ravi Subramanian
At the heart of the concept of “business sustainability and shared value” are interconnections among the economic, environmental, and societal dimensions of business performance. This course uses the 2017 World Economic Forum Global Risks Report and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as frameworks to establish the role of fundamental human needs (food, water, energy, shelter, fair wages, and community) in shaping long-term business value and overall economic progress. The course is multidisciplinary, discussion-oriented, and experiential, and uses a variety of pedagogical approaches such as lectures on key concepts, cases, videos, talks by invited speakers, and site visits. 

**Course counts as an elective for the Operations and Supply Chain Management Concentration (BA Majors), and the Operations and Supply Chain Management Certificate (for non-business majors) offered by the Scheller College of Business. 

 

Design for Shared Value (MGT 4803) | Instructor: Omar Rodriguez Vila (Scheller), Wayne Li (SoD)
Benefit corporations and social entrepreneurship are an increasing trend in the market, with more organizations seeking to design product or service solutions that can create both economic and societal value, often called “Shared Value”.  The creation of shared value solutions is considered an evolution of the traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of firms and becoming a new way of doing business.  Despite the attention and interest generated by these ideas among corporations, the methods and practices needed to develop solutions that can meet economic and societal needs are only recently emerging.  This class integrates design and marketing techniques and uses a “hands-on” approach to teaching students how to understand societal needs, connect them to business needs, and develop branded products that serve business and societal needs at the same time. Only available to Juniors and Seniors.

**Course counts towards the Marketing Certificate (for non-business majors) offered by the Scheller College of Business.

 

Sustainable Marketing (MGT 4803) | Instructor: Dionne Nickerson
As environmental and social consciousness has grown in recent years, sustainability has emerged as an important market driver with the potential to grow profits and spur value creation. As a result, firms are increasingly making sustainability a strategic priority. This course considers sustainability through the lens of the marketing discipline. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and class projects, this course examines the ways in which firms adapt their marketing strategies to meet business as well as societal needs. Specifically, students will learn how firms are applying environmental and socially sustainable business practices to the marketing mix (products, pricing, promotional activities, and distribution). Students will also learn how to analyze the risks and opportunities associated with sustainable marketing practices. Invited speakers will include marketing scholars, marketing practitioners, and speakers from Atlanta-area community organizations in order to provide students with a purview of the current challenges and opportunities associated with environmental and social sustainability on a local level and corporate level.  All business majors are likely to benefit from this course, as the case study analysis will be useful for those targeting careers in management consulting.

**This class is offered in the Fall Semester. Course counts as an elective for the Marketing Concentration (BA Majors), and the Marketing Certificate (for non-business majors) offered by the Scheller College of Business.

 

Business Ethics (MGT 3607) | Instructor: Steve Salbu 
In this course, students examine the following areas of inquiry:  (a) the appropriate roles of business and government in society; (b) how to make ethical decisions and avoid decision-making pitfalls; and (c) the ethical responsibilities of managers and companies in a variety of functional areas.  In the course of this examination, students discuss the merits of various viewpoints and develop defensible perspectives of their own.  The process includes oral discourse as well as written assignments.

**Course counts as a core class for the Business Law and Ethics Certificate and a class for the Leading and Managing Human Capital Concentration (BA Majors).

 

A Introduction to Sustainable Systems (SLS 3120) | Instructors: Kim Cobb (CoS), Matthew Realff (CoE), Beril Toktay (Scheller)
This course is for students from any major who want to learn about how to make a “system” – a community, a region, a supply chain, a company – more sustainable, both environmentally (lower CO2 emissions, better water quality, etc.) and socially (more equitable, more prosperous, etc.). We will explore sustainability from a systems perspective, discussing stakeholder views and trade-offs between different components of sustainability. We will discuss the value and limits of technological, policy and business solutions in the context of climate change, material scarcity and energy poverty. Students will have the opportunity to learn from a variety of guest speakers and to work on a project of their choice. Student projects last year included “Shut the Sash”, “Reusable To-Go Containers”, “Red Goes Green” and “Textile Conservation Campaign.”

"There was a breadth of information presented and at the end of the course I think that I have learned a lot of general knowledge on the dimensions of sustainability."

"Having a wealth of perspectives, from instructors as well as guest speakers helped illustrate the material in practice, and how complex many of the issues were."

"The varying expertise that each professor brought made the class very engaging."

Additional Enrichment Opportunities

Carbon Reduction Challenge
The Carbon Reduction Challenge began as a class project that Dr. Kim Cobb initiated in 2007, and has evolved into a highly-successful mechanism for educating and empowering Georgia Tech students to achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions through short-term student projects. Over spring semester 2017, her students executed emissions reductions totaling more than 12,000,000 lbs of CO2 and saved their external partners more than $50,000. In summer 2017, Dr. Cobb was joined by Dr. Beril Toktay to conduct a Carbon Reduction Challenge amongst a select cohort of Georgia Tech summer intern students. In some cases, teams or individual students worked with their host company/organization to formulate a plan for carbon reductions and cost savings.

Global Social Venture Plan Competition (GSVC)
The Global Social Venture Plan Competition (GSVC) is one of the largest global-scale competitions with a proven track-record that provides student entrepreneurs who work on triple bottom line projects with mentoring, exposure, and financial support. More than six hundred teams participate globally every year. Previous GSVC winners (now mature companies) include Ethos Water, d.light, and Revolution Foods.

Undergraduate students are encouraged to be involved. Each entrant team must include a graduate student (current or recent graduate) but team meeting and matching opportunities can help interested undergraduate students explore opportunities. Georgia Tech is one of the nine global partners along Berkeley's Haas School of Business, London Business School and Indian School of Business among others. Georgia Tech is responsible for outreach in the eastern half of the US and hosts the Eastern Regional Semifinals of the competition.

Ideas to Serve Competition (I2S)
The Ideas to Serve Competition (I2S) is open to current Georgia Tech students and recent alumni who have early stage product/service ideas or venture concepts geared towards creating a better world. Entries might focus on reducing poverty, alleviating hunger, promoting health and wellness, improving air and water quality, reducing of the depletion rate of natural resources, or developing alternate sources of energy…just to name a few!

IMPACT Speaker Series
The IMPACT Speaker Series is Atlanta's largest university based speaker series, with weekly presentation (Wednesdays at 4:30 PM), free and open to the public, with the main topics revolving around entrepreneurship (both social and commercial), innovation, leadership, and sustainability. The main goal of the series is to show students the width and depth of opportunities, and challenges they will face in the marketplace; to widen their horizon and understanding of important issues; and to engage the community, on and off campus, in the important debate around these topics.

The information and inspiration that has been passed on by high-profile speakers such as Muhammed Yunus, Ray Anderson, Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, Thomas Friedman, and Al Gore has been very valuable to those who came to listen.

Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP)

The Serve•Learn•Sustain Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) aims to equip Georgia Tech students with the knowledge and capabilities to effectively address sustainability challenges and inter-related community-level societal needs in their professions and their civic lives. To achieve these outcomes, the plan focuses on the theme "creating sustainable communities" and emphasizes community engagement and service learning as its central pedagogical approach.

View Full Plan

Undergraduate Sustainability Ambassadors Program

The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business empowers students to become leaders in building a sustainable and prosperous future. The ambassador program is an opportunity for those seeking a deeper engagement related to sustainability.

Each year, the Center will choose a limited number of Undergraduate Sustainability Ambassadors.

  • $200/year stipend (paid in Spring semester)
  • Exposure to sustainable business topics and themes
  • Opportunity to dive further into area of interest through project requirement
  • Exclusive invitations to smaller Center events and engagements
  • Access to industry network and connections
  • Engagement after graduation as a Center Ambassador alum
  • Attend 2 sustainability related events per semester
  • Complete a group project related to sustainability; present at end-of-year poster session
  • Contribute one blog post to Center’s Sustainable Business Blog
  • Promote Center events and initiatives in classes and/ or clubs

Limited slots are available via a competitive application period each Fall. The application is accessible on our Center website and can be submitted during the application period only. Once applications have been reviewed, applicants may be asked to come in and meet with Center staff. Selected Ambassadors will be notified on a set date each application period.

Contact with any questions.

Application Period begins:

Applications must be submitted by:

Selected Ambassadors will be notified on:

Friday, October 19

Students will be asked to attend an orientation session during the week of October 22 to meet with staff and review the program requirements.

What events can I attend?

We will provide a list of sustainability related events across campus or throughout the city that you can attend, including our own Center events. You may also find an additional event related to sustainability [e.g. circular economy, carbon-conscious business, social performance and human rights, or sustainability innovation and Environmental, Social Governance (ESG) Leadership] that you may request to attend.

Will I have to pay to attend events?

Many events will be free, however, some may have a registration fee or may require you incur transportation and/or parking fees. The $200 stipend is intended to offset these costs. However, if there is an approved event with a fee of more than $40, the Center will register you directly upon your request.

What do you mean by a sustainability focused project?

Center staff will work with you to identify a project that fits your interests/goals either from pre-existing ideas or one that you propose. All available project ideas will be presented at the orientation session for ambassadors to choose from and create teams.

Some projects ideas include:

  • Provide support to Center programs such as the Work Green Initiative (ie. develop a marketing/outreach plan to encourage staff to use alternate transportation)
  • Provide support to campus organization programs.
  • Provide support to MBA Fellow’s projects.