“I don’t think businesses should have to pick between being profitable and being sustainable,” said Emily Schroeder, a third-year business administration major. “I believe that businesses have contributed to many of the environmental and societal problems we face today and therefore have the capability and responsibility to be the solution to these problems.” Schroeder is a member of the cohort of 40 Scheller College Graduate Sustainability Fellows and Undergraduate Sustainability Ambassadors with a passion for making a positive impact.
The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (“Center”) at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, which organizes the programs, is pleased to announce that the 2022-23 cohort includes 22 graduate students representing the Full-time, Evening, and Executive MBA Programs, as well as the Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management Program. The 18 undergraduate students are majoring in business administration, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil engineering, computer science, environmental engineering, industrial design, and materials science and engineering.
The Fellows and Ambassadors are deepening their engagement in sustainability by working on team projects and participating in activities related to sustainable business. The programs for Fellows and Ambassadors deliver on the Center’s commitment to empowering students to become leaders in building a sustainable and prosperous future. The Center intentionally selects participants from across the Institute in order to reach its strategic plan goal of preparing a growing number of Georgia Tech graduates for meaningful engagement in sustainable business across diverse roles.
The cohort shares a commitment to problem-solving. In the face of what is arguably the greatest challenge of our time, climate change, the students are eager to make a difference. Fellow Chris Prosceno expressed the feelings of many when he stated, “Sustainability is critical for improving the future for generations to come.” He is particularly interested in focusing on environmental projects that reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gasses. Ambassador Hank Hudson, a Wilmington, North Carolina native, said, “Growing up on the coast, I have witnessed the tangible impacts of climate change. As a result, my goal is to find a way to weave sustainability into my studies and career.”
Looking out for the best interests of people is also a key tenet of sustainability – and is at the top of mind for many participants. Fellow Meg Sanders, for instance, shared, “I am deeply committed to upholding socially responsible business practices, implementing social and environmental justice into environmental policies, and forming stakeholder relationships through meaningful community partnerships.”
Throughout the 2022-23 academic year, Fellows and Ambassadors are working on projects that address real-world challenges being faced by on-campus and external partnering organizations. The following list includes the team names and their goals for the year:
- Equitable Solar Scaling – Formulating a plan to increase rural and urban Georgia homes with rooftop solar from 10,000 to 250,000 with a focus on equity.
- Generation 2 Reinvented Toilet – Creating materials to increase public awareness of sanitation issues around the world.
- Georgia Tech Compost and Recycling – Reducing the carbon footprint associated with waste on Georgia Tech’s campus by assessing the emissions caused by waste, the lifecycle of campus dining to-go containers, and the costs and benefits of alternative waste diversion measures.
- Offsetting Atlanta Heat Islands – Using data from UrbanHeatATL to identify potential locations for trees to be planted in Atlanta.
- Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business Career Strategies – Working with the Center to synthesize its resources for students and alumni seeking careers that have social and environmental impact.
- Right to Repair – Researching proposed legislation that would allow consumers to repair and modify their own consumer products.
- Carbon Offset Strategy (Project 1) – Identifying different technology and fuel options that can be implemented by their client company to help it reach net zero emissions.
- Carbon Offset Strategy (Project 2) – Designing a carbon offset decision tool for their client company that compares technology-based and nature-based offsets and accurately records carbon offsets to avoid greenwashing risks.
- University Global Coalition – Designing an easy-to-use and scalable tool that allows UGC members to connect in order to develop and share initiatives that address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- United Methodist Church Global Ministries – Helping the UMC become a net-zero emissions organization by developing a tool that will make carbon emissions tracking seamless, understandable, and efficient.
The Center likes to call the ambitious current and future leaders in the programs the “Ray C. Andersons of tomorrow,” after the sustainable business visionary. Ambassador Sarah Eidizadeh describes her embodiment of this idea as “integrating sustainability in all senses of the word into my life.” The organizers celebrate the spirit of this year’s participants who believe that a better future is possible. Despite the global challenges ahead, in the words of Ambassador Brandon Bermudez Bolivar, “Change can only begin if people believe change is feasible.”
2022-23 Scheller College Graduate Sustainability FellowsJacob Clifton Albritton
Laura Betancourt Ramirez
Shelby de Jongh
Arko Sen Gupta
2022-23 Scheller College Undergraduate Sustainability AmbassadorsRitu Atreyas
Brandon Bermudez Bolivar
Written by Jennifer Holley Lux