UNC Kenan-Flagler Blogs

Author Archives: Tracy Triggs-Matthews

WHOLE HOG: The Power of Pork

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

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

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

Celebrating 15 Years as Global Leaders in Sustainability

For 15 years, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Center for Sustainable Enterprise has been a leader in the research, education and application of sustainability for UNC students and alumni, the state of North Carolina, and partners around the world. Kenan-Flagler Business School’s ‘triple bottom line’ approach empowers businesses to derive competitive advantage by building strong shareholder value, environmental stewardship, and societal well-being. Throughout the course of this academic year, there will be highlighted events and activities to showcase our continued strength and leadership in Sustainable Enterprise. Please join one of our social media networks: LinkedIn or Facebook to stay apprised of opportunities to participate in the conversation. The History The Center for Sustainable Enterprise’s formal efforts to spread knowledge and use Read More

NC Cleantech Podcast #3 with Lee Anne Nance, Executive VP Research Triangle Regional Partnership

Leading in smart grid, smart water and smart transportation, the North Carolina Research Triangle region boasts over 500 companies that employ thousands of North Carolinian’s in what is referred to as the Cleantech sector. (www.researchtrianglecleantech.org) The pace of innovation resulting from collaborations between start-ups, universities, and established companies are giving the area the competitive economic edge to be noticed worldwide as leaders in the Cleantech space. The next highlight in the Cleantech Podcast series, is a conversation with  Lee Anne Nance, Executive Vice President, Research Triangle Regional Partnership. Lee Anne discusses the role of higher education in the Triangle Region’s economic growth and how the clean tech sector represents an emerging industry for jobs. The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) is a business-driven, Read More

Utility Debt Risk – Part II

By Katie Bradshaw (MBA UNC Kenan-Flagler/MEM Duke University ’15) This is Part 2 of a 2 part blog post on utility financial risk shared from the Environmental Finance Center. Part 1 focuses on utility revenue risk, and Part 2 focuses on utility debt risk. In the first blog post on utility financial risk, we discussed how debt risk in addition to revenue risk were significant contributing factors in the Energy Future Holdings bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy of a leveraged buyout on record. While it is relatively rare for utilities to declare bankruptcy, it is not unusual for utilities to carry high levels of debt. In fact, utilities often have capital structures with high amounts of debt combined with highly rated credit Read More

Lights Go Out on the Largest Leveraged Buyout in History

By Katie Bradshaw (MBA UNC Kenan-Flagler/MEM Duke University ’15) This is Part 1 of a 2 part blog post shared from the Environmental Finance Center on utility financial risk. Part 1 focuses on utility revenue risk and Part 2 focuses on utility debt risk. On April 29, 2014, the Texas-based utility Energy Future Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, ending the largest leveraged buyout on record. Utility bankruptcies in general are rare, but even outside of the utility realm, a bankruptcy of more than $40 billion in an asset-based industry is unheard of. So naturally, many of us are left asking questions – what went wrong and are other utilities at risk of going bankrupt? What went wrong? In 2007, Read More

NC Clean Tech Podcast #2 with John Morrison, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for Strata Solar

  With relatively cheap land, tax incentives and abundant sunshine, North Carolina has been experiencing a boom in the solar industry. Currently, the state is 4th in the nation for installed solar capacity and the 592 MW currently installed across the state provides enough energy to power 64,500 homes (Solar Energy Industries Association). With over 300 MW of installed solar, Strata Solar ranks as one of the top providers in America.   As part of the NC Clean Tech podcast series, we are pleased to highlight this pioneering clean tech company and their Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, John Morrison. John talks about why solar development in North Carolina is succeeding and the role universities play in providing the Read More

Announcing NC Clean Tech Podcast Series

In February 2014, CSE and UNC’s Institute for the Environment partnered with the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster and Strata Solar to hold the first North Carolina Clean Tech Summit.  This event brought together over 300 clean tech business leaders, state lawmakers, policy advocates, economic developers, and faculty and students from UNC Chapel Hill for a day long discussion of North Carolina’s growing clean tech sector. The second annual Clean Tech Summit is planned for February 19-20, 2015 at UNC’s Friday Center and  will include a focus on the military and renewable energy; boosting North Carolina’s competitiveness in manufacturing; and fostering an innovation economy across the state. Throughout this year, we will be posting links to podcasts that highlight pioneering clean Read More

Financing Urban Agriculture: A Growing Field of Possibilities

Emily Kosmala is a Research Assistant at the Environmental Finance Center at UNC Chapel Hill. She began working with the EFC in Fall 2013 as an assistant to the wetland finance project.  She will graduate in May 2014 From UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School with a B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing Management concentration and a minor in Sustainability. Special thanks to the Environmental Finance Center for allowing us to re-post this blog. As a student working under the Wetland Finance program at the Environmental Finance Center at UNC Chapel Hill, I spend most of my time exploring options for financing wetland protection. I’ve been studying new and creative ways to account for the value of the ecological processes that wetlands provide, including Read More