Anne Leuthold, BSC Associate
Degree program: Business Administration and Management: Marketing
Hometown: Dresden, Germany
Previous degree(s): High School Diploma (A-Level)
Sustainability Interests: Waste & Recycling, Energy, Global Warming
Why is sustainability important to you? Why do you think it should be important to other students?
Sustainability is important to me because it is a critical factor in today's society. We all should think about how we want to move forward in the future and what we want to leave behind for future generations. It is no secret that the population is growing enormously and that natural resources are running short. Therefore, we have to make sure to use them in a sustainable way. Nowadays, landscapes are often cultivated with what makes the most money but not with what is sustainable in the long run. There are so many monocultures that destroy the fertile soil and affect the ground water level greatly. Further, there are so many businesses that could look into renewable resources but most don't because it can be expensive to start of with. The depletion of nonrenewable resources will impact everyone, so everyone should be concerned about over using nonrenewable resources and taking care of our planet. At the end of the day we all want to eat and have our stomachs full.
What first sparked your interest in sustainability?
I would not say that there is one event that sparked my interest but steady reminders of what is happening in our world when sitting in certain classes in high school and also by the media. This interest grew further when going to college and taking classes such as ES 100: Introduction to Environmental Science, where I watched a documentation called Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic. The documentation was eye opening, seeing the impact of our actions on the environment emphasized we need to start improving now.
What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?
I think one of the biggest sustainability problems we have in the United States would be the trash dumps. Not enough people recycle, leaving tons of plastics and recyclable materials left sitting on the soil. There is not a unified and efficient recycling program set in place to make it easier for everyone to recycle. Let's face it, if it isn't easy, it probably will not get done. For example, Germany has a relative efficient recycling system and shows that it can be done. It has certain classification and separates glass from newspaper/ magazines, cardboard, plastic bottles, and simple plastic items.
What is your dream career, and how would you like to make sustainability a part of your day-to-day work?
I want to work for a company or organization in my profession that manages its business successfully but not just by the means of finance. A company that is driven to be part of a better world and is open minded to ideas from not only form internally but also external sources for changes. For me personally, I can have an impact in my daily routine by recycling, using energy wisely, and being in support of solar and wind power. I think harvesting solar and wind energy will become more accessible for the households in the upcoming years, and I want to advocate that.
What leader(s) do you admire for their commitment to improving sustainability or championing positive change?
I respect Stephan Ells, the founder of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., not just because I love the food but also because he successfully fought for his dream of a quality restaurant chain that is known for its sustainable practices. With "Food with Integrity" Chipotle committed to sourcing the very best ingredients they can find and to preparing them by hand, to vegetables grown in healthy soil, and pork from pigs allowed to freely root and roam or in deeply bedded barns. They care about the farmers, the animals, the environment etc. and support those who strive for sustainable practices. Of course there are many others that have shown great leadership in sustainability as well such as Naomi Klien, Chai Jing, and Albert Arnold Gore.
What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?
My advice to fellow students is to check out the BSC website to get an understanding of what stands behind sustainability. The website also provides a section called Sustainability News & Events which lists a couple of events that provide the opportunity to sit in on discussions with business professionals, offering insights about there sustainability views and practices. Further, if a student is really interested he or she can join the Net Impact club or get involved with the BSC leadership program.