March 30, 2011
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
‘Green Bag Lunch and Learn’ promotes business sustainability
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University Students for Sustainability will offer a “Green Bag Lunch and Learn” program 12:30 p.m., April 19, to promote the importance of sustainability in business. Sustainability leaders from regional businesses and the University will participate in a panel discussion in SRU’s Advanced Technology and Science Hall Auditorium. The public is invited.Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania’s premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
The first 200 participants will receive a reusable shopping bag made out of recycled materials as a gift.
“The intent of the program is to promote the awareness of sustainability in general and the business case for sustainability specifically,” said John Golden, instructor in SRU’s School of Business. “It is also intended to engage all stakeholders – administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni and local business people – in the concepts of sustainability. The School of Business is taking a leadership position in this area.”
Sustainability espouses commitment to sound environmental, economic and social policy. Golden said SRU’s student organization and the School of Business endorse a sustainability model called the “three P’s” – people, planet and profit.
“This is not your old school ‘tree hugging,’” he said. “We support 21st-century businesses that are maximizing profits, not in spite of the fact that they are acting responsibly toward all their stakeholders and the environment, but because of it.”
While making a profit remains the primary purpose of business, many consumers won’t support companies that act irresponsibility toward the environment, Golden said.
“Business is about making a profit; that has not changed. What is changing are the demands in the marketplace,” Golden said. “Consumers and investors are demanding a value chain that does not destroy ecosystems and that also promotes the social concerns of people in a global economy. The paradigm is shifting.” Businesses that accommodate the new demands will be sustained. The others won’t survive.”
Golden said SRU students support sustainability. “Many of them see the future more clearly in this area than we do,” he said. “We need to work together.”
Panel participants are: Benson Gabler, manager of corporate sustainability for the PNC Financial Services Group; Phyllis Barber, sustainability coordinator for Highmark Inc.; Jerry DeRosa, environmental division manager at Pennoni Associates; Robert McCafferty, owner of The North Country Brewery; Bryan John Page, environmental chemist at BioMost Inc; David Culp, professor in the School of Business; and Herb Carlson, SRU assistant vice president for construction design and management and senior officer for institutional sustainability.”’
The group Students for Sustainability is a new organization that promotes sustainability. The group meets twice a week and is planning a Green Stock Festival for fall.
SRU’s greening leadership has been recognized nationally. The Princeton Review included SRU in its “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” that have shown an above average commitment to sustainability. SRU is one of the few institutions in Pennsylvania that offers a master’s degree program in sustainability, and undergraduates have stepped up by creating a Green Fund for environmental projects and launching initiatives promoting environmental awareness.