New Business of Sustainability Initiative at Georgetown McDonough to Prepare Leaders and Organizations to Positively Impact the Environment

Georgetown McDonough launches Business of Sustainability Initiative

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Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business has launched a new Business of Sustainability Initiative to prepare current and future leaders to make the business case for sustainability. 

“Only at McDonough can you study the business of sustainability with access to interdisciplinary expertise across Georgetown University’s renowned programs, global business and policy leaders found in Washington, D.C., and the world-wide network to inspire meaningful change,” said Paul Almeida, dean and William R. Berkley Chair. “We believe firms have an obligation regarding sustainability to do right by their stakeholders — including their shareholders — and the common good. To be successful in the long-run, organizations must take account of the broader implications their activities have on society and the planet.”

Led by Vishal Agrawal, Provost’s Distinguished Lapeyere Family Associate Professor, the initiative will work across academic areas and other initiatives at the school to focus on student learning, thought leadership and research, and convening and outreach within the global business community. The initiative will help faculty and students explore how companies can embrace ESG and sustainability while managing economic, environmental, and social risks. 

“In today’s business world, organizations are increasingly focusing on how they can both achieve their mission and be good stewards of the world around them, making this the perfect time to launch this initiative,” Agrawal said. “We will be centered on developing a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental, and social developments.” 

The Business of Sustainability Initiative will work alongside Georgetown McDonough’s existing academic areas and faculty-led centers and initiatives to strengthen understanding of the business case for sustainability among students, faculty, alumni, and business leaders. In addition to developing programming for students and alumni, the initiative will host multi-industry events along with corporations, policymakers, and NGOs to discuss important themes around business and sustainability. 

“With an eye toward student learning, thought leadership, and external outreach, the Business of Sustainability Initiative will reach across the school to support various research projects and classes, and to facilitate conversations and collaboration focused on the business of sustainability,” Almeida said. “The Initiative will strengthen our scholarship as well as our undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs, and in doing so, plant seeds that will help our school grow in new and exciting ways.” 

The initiative adds to McDonough’s commitment to sustainability through programs like the MBA Certificate in Sustainable Business, the undergraduate Sustainable Business Fellows, and the university’s new master’s degree in Environment and Sustainability Management offered jointly with the McDonough School of Business, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Georgetown Environment Initiative. It also will work with other faculty-led centers at the school, including Business for Impact, the Steers Center for Global Real Estate, and the Center for Financial Markets and Policy, each of which incorporates sustainability and ESG into their programming.