LeBow College of Business and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) recently sponsored “The Triple Bottom Line,” a conference on sustainability. The event featured presentations by representatives of Dow, Campbell’s and Boeing, internationally recognized leaders in sustainability, as well as speakers from sustainability guarantors B Lab and the City’s Office of Sustainability.
“The Triple Bottom Line” represents the three beneficiaries of a sustainable enterprise: people, planet, and profit. Applying well-known and accepted metrics, it provides a way to measure an organization’s environmental impact along with its financial return.
Drexel hosted the program on behalf of the MBA students visiting from the school’s graduate center in Sacramento, Calif. They were in Philadelphia to complete a course in Sustainable Business, covering exploration of local green buildings and businesses. As part of their coursework, the students visited two green buildings, the Comcast Center and Tasty Baking’s new Navy Yard bakery, which is moving toward zero-waste status.
“It was eye-opening for the students,” says Donna Ferrari, Drexel’s Director of Special Projects. “Many came with the impression that companies are just giving lip service to sustainability. But the conference speakers told how addressing sustainability issues head-on will help them survive.”
The conference included a Green Expo where vendors presented a range of products and services to help businesses and consumers to be more effective in terms of the environment, and of their bottom lines.
This seminar was part of WTCGP’s new “Job Creation through Export Development” program funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The program is designed to advance the global competitiveness of the many Pennsylvania and New Jersey companies in leading industry sectors, such as renewable energy and environment.
An ongoing partnership in international business allows Drexel students to combine their international residencies with the WTCGP’s trade missions through their “Export for Scholars” program. Students research off-shore markets, international partnerships, and overcoming cultural and other barriers. Observing international trade meetings gives them valuable hands-on experience.