UNC Kenan-Flagler Sustainability Blog

Impressions of the 13th Annual Careers in Sustainability Forum

November 14, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews 13th Annual Careers in Sustainability Forum participants

Below are UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School MBA student’s perspectives on the 13th Annual Careers in Sustainability Forum. CISF Energy Panelists Take Impact to Scale By Meisha McDaniel (MBA ’16) As Markus Wilhelm, Strata Solar CEO and keynote presenter for Kenan-Flagler’s Careers in Sustainability Forum (CISF) pointed out, the growth and development of renewable energy is a major disruptive business trend, especially as the global demand for energy rises. Not only did this session’s speakers bring this message home, but they also offered sage career advice for the students and professionals in the audience. Lawrence Dernulc is the Business Manager with NextEra Energy Resources and Kenan-Flagler alum. Prior to becoming a Tar Heel, Dernulc worked in the financial services industry and Read More

Alumni Reflections: Michael Alden (MBA ’10)

November 7, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews Michael Alden, Vice President of Business Development

by Michael Alden (MBA ’10) Vice President of Business Development at Ascentria Care Alliance My UNC Kenan-Flagler Sustainable Enterprise education has empowered me to make an impact on ecological integrity and social equity while focusing on profit maximization.   Two recent examples demonstrate this: Planet and Profit: After MBA graduation, I consulted on a variety of business turnaround and restructuring engagements.   I also took initiative to go beyond my financial consulting role.  Through the confidence and skills I gained at UNC Kenan-Flagler, I led the first ever carbon-footprint measurement of my $1.2B firm.  This measurement not only highlighted opportunities for firm-wide cost reductions and facility quality of life enhancements, but the forward thinking mentality enabled my firm to be more competitive in Read More

NC Clean Tech Podcast #5 with Matt Zafuto, Executive VP, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Sensus

October 30, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews Matt Zafuto, Executive VP, Sensus, Corporate Strategy & Business Development

According to a United Nations report: World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision,  “the world population is expected to be 67 per cent urban in 2050″. As the trend of urban growth continues, cities are faced with aging and overtaxed infrastructure and systems and are looking for ‘smart’ clean tech ideas to help solve future challenges. Sensus is one company working on these issues. With their headquarters in the Triangle and over 100 years in business, Sensus is a global leader in utility infrastructure systems and resource conservation with operations and service facilities on five continents. Sensus provides ‘smart’ products and solutions in advanced measurement, data collection, analysis and control capabilities that help customers improve efficiency while reducing their environmental impact. Matt Zafuto Read More

Alumni Reflections: Jeff Mittelstadt

October 22, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews Jeff Mittelstadt in the field working on his documentary.

By Jeff Mittelstadt (MBA ’07) Traditional career paths…no, thank you. I was never able to find a traditional career path that suited my interests. Sustainability and entrepreneurship allowed me to create my own career journey. I feel forever indebted to Kenan-Flagler Business School for providing me with the skills and confidence to do what I want to do and to enjoy the steps along the way to get where I want to be. I learned that I could create my own career with the power of the skills I obtained along with the improvement of the for-profit world’s understanding that the triple bottom line of sustainability can drive innovation, progress and success. While I am about to write about the Read More

Sustainability Research in Practice: Is Servicization a Win-Win Strategy? Profitability and Environmental Implications of Servicization

October 9, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews Ting Ting Eeo, Undergraduate Net Impact President

By Ting Ting Eeo (Undergraduate Net Impact President, Environmental Studies Major, Business Minor ’15) As part of the Center for Sustainable Enterprises 15th Anniversary, they are hosting a series of Sustainability Research in Practice sessions featuring current research by UNC Kenan-Flagler faculty and its practical application for businesses and enterprises. As sustainable business becomes more attractive, the companies that stand out are the ones that integrate innovative processes within their business models. Lindsay James of Interface, a modular carpet production company,  and Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Dr. Vinayak Deshpande presented on Sustainability Research in Practice, specifically about the concept of Servicization. Servicization is the idea of selling the functionality of a product instead of selling the product itself. Dr. Deshpande explained it Read More

NC Clean Tech Podcast #4 with Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association

October 1, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews Ivan Urlaub, Executive Director, NC Sustainable Energy Association

By Janet Hammond, Center for Sustainable Enterprise The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association is the voice for North Carolina’s clean energy industry. The organization unites and empowers leaders across industry sectors to drive public policy and market development that motivates clean energy growth and economic development.  NCSEA’s “Making Energy Work” annual conference will be held in Charlotte on October 1 and 2. Having led the NCSEA as Executive Director since 2005, Ivan Urlaub is welcomed as the next speaker in the NC Clean tech Podcast Series. Ivan discusses North Carolina’s growing clean energy economy and spotlights some of the research underway at area universities in the clean energy field. Listen to the Podcast The second annual NC Clean Tech Summit Read More

Back to School Means Back to the Triple Bottom Line

September 23, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews

By Carol Hee, Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise As a professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, I’m often asked whether I believe sustainability is a trend.  As someone who stays informed about current business issues, I know it’s not a trend with an end in sight; and, as director of Kenan-Flagler’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise, I can proudly assert that, for us, sustainability is a tradition, not a trend.  During this academic year, we are celebrating our 15th anniversary of shaping business leaders who do well by doing good, thinking beyond the bottom line, and building and understanding the business case for incorporating social and environmental concerns into business strategy. Read More

WHOLE HOG: The Power of Pork

September 16, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews Dree Deacon, Undergraduate Business student

By Dree Deacon (BSBA ’15 Major Business Journalism, Minor Social and Economic Justice)    Dree’s work this past summer was supported by a fellowship grant from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Center for Sustainable Enterprise.   When I tell people I spent my summer writing about hogs, I’m met with strange looks. I joined a team called Powering a Nation in early May 2014. Powering a Nation, based at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication, annually forms a savvy lineup of current and aspiring journalists and designers who have a passion for the political, economic and scientific impact of working US citizens on this country’s consumption of energy and hopes for sustainability. This year’s project was called Whole Hog: The Power Read More

From Idea to Actualization: A Sustainability Impact Story at Kenan-Flagler Business School

September 11, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews 2014 MBA's Bridget Brennan and Solomon DeLeon test out the new water refilling station.

By Bridget Brennan (MBA ’14) and Solomon DeLeon (MBA ’14) During a meeting in the fall of 2012 between Tracy Triggs-Matthews, Associate Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Career Management Center Associate Director, Katrin Baker, Katrin stepped out to refill her water bottle. When she returned, she said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had those water bottle refilling stations here at Kenan-Flagler?” This question instigated a 2 year project culminating in a new station and refill attachments to drinking fountains throughout the business school. In early meetings of the MBA Net Impact Greening Committee in 2012, committee members agreed with Katrin  and Tracy that the bottle filling options in the McColl Building were limited. MBA Class of Read More

Celebrating 15 Years of Accomplishments at the Center for Sustainable Enterprise

September 4, 2014 By Tracy Triggs-Matthews 15th-Ann-CSE-Logo-MEC-

For 15 years the Center for Sustainable Enterprise has been a global leader in Sustainability. Below are important milestones achieved by the faculty, staff, alumni and students at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School over the course of the Center’s history. Please join us this year for special events to help us celebrate our work to build shareholder value while exercising environmental stewardship and promoting societal well-being. Center for Sustainable Enterprise Milestones 1999 Created Environmental Business Initiative Hosted Greening of Industry International Network Conference James Johnson, Jr. wins Faculty Pioneer Award from the Aspen Institute 2000 Hosted first annual Sustainable Enterprise Career Fair Created Sustainable Enterprise MBA Concentration 2001 Formed Center for Sustainable Enterprise Hosted annual national Net Impact Conference Launched Base Read More