Monday, April 19, 2010

Are "going green" and "sustainability" the same things?

This is a guest post from Kelley senior lecturer Benjamin Schultz, a member of Kelley's business communications faculty.

Is Going Green the same as making a business sustainable? BUS-Z355 Topics in Management: Sustainable Businesses will examine the issues related to sustainability, focusing on the factors that businesses need to consider to brand themselves as sustainable. Students will spend the first half of the semester learning about these topics, and the second half of the semester working in teams with area businesses to create a sustainability report and plan tailored to their assigned business. Clients will receive both an oral presentation and a written plan.

As an architect and builder, and as a restaurant owner, I have been interested in sustainability issues for many years. And since coming to the Kelley School I have been involved with several sustainability advocate groups, both in the Kelley School and at the campus level. I was appointed by IU Vice President Terry Clapacs to the Sustainability Task Force in the spring of 2007, charged with drafting a report for Administrators and Trustees on where we were and where we should be going on incorporating sustainability initiatives and policies into campus practices and teachings. As a result, IU last year created an Office of Sustainability and hired its first Director of Sustainability, Bill Brown.

I developed Z355 Sustainable Businesses to meet a need to introduce students to business interests with sustainability, and to offer them an opportunity to work with area business as consultants, helping them create sustainability plans tailored to their specific fields and operations. The course will be offered during Fall semester 2010, in part as one of Kelley’s contributions to IU’s Themester initiative. Each fall semester, departments campus-wide offer classes and seminars, bring in guest speakers, and coordinate a variety of activities related to a specific theme. The Fall 2009 theme was Evolution, Diversity and Change. For Fall 2010 the theme will be sustain.ability: Thriving on a Small Planet.

Interested students are encouraged to contact me with questions about the course (schultzb@indiana.edu).

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