Adam Harris, BSC Associate
Degree program: MBA Candidate – Class of 2018 – Marketing & Finance Concentration
Hometown: Bridgewater, VA
Sustainability Interests: Sustainability in business practices (B-Lab) and sustainability reporting, social entrepreneurship.
Why is sustainability important to you? Why do you think it should be important to other students?
I hold the belief that sustainability is an integral part of running a company designed for long-term gains. Whether it be the sustainability/ stability of the workforce, a neutral impact on the environment, or a structured corporate social responsibility suite of policies, these all have the potential to provide a positive impact both on the business itself, but within the community. I believe in the power of business to push forth initiatives and take action in areas where either the nonprofit/ NGO or public sector are not as effective. It is important for students (and especially business students) to study and understand the ecosystem of how our economy/ society can work in collaboration to provide mutually beneficial outcomes for citizens and shareholders alike.
What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?
I would love to continue working on answering the question of how business and sustainability practices can align and work synergistically to offer up long-term solutions to our society’s problems.
What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?
My advice would be twofold: first, start small – tackling huge sustainability issues can be daunting and the work can be discouraging. Getting those small wins and making an impact on your direct community is a great stepping stone towards being able to scale up and address more systemic issues. Second, I would recommend looking at issue areas that are of interest to the student; keeping in mind that they don’t necessarily HAVE to be the uber-cool sustainability areas. For example, energy policy is often touted as a “cool” field to go into, working to promote renewable energy sources, etc. Without a doubt, working in the renewable energy space is incredibly rewarding, but focusing on food system supply chain sustainability, workforce sustainability (healthcare and workers rights issues, etc.), or any other of the thousands of issues are JUST as important with incredible potential impact to be made. A great starting point is to take a look at the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that outline 17 issues areas that encompass thousands of industries and roles. The UN SDGs provide much-needed perspective on a multitude of areas that a student can get involved in on a local/ regional, national, or international level.