Aren Koraian, BSC Associate
Current Degree Program: I am in the process of switching to a Statistics major with a minor in Data Science in Analytics and Decision-Making. I’ve previously studied both Environmental Sciences and Environmental Technology and Management.
Hometown: New Jersey
Areas of Interest in Sustainability: My interest in sustainability stems from the research I’ve done on biofuel analysis. I also have a particular fascination with the cyclical resilience of nature and the environment’s ability to recover from seemingly disastrous circumstances.
What does business sustainability mean to you? What do you think sustainability should mean to businesses?
To me, business sustainability means companies and organizations intentionally improving the environmental impact of their operational systems. Utilizing renewable resources, optimizing transportation, contributing profits to good causes, etc. are avenues of sustainable development to which businesses can readily contribute. Sustainability should not be another box to check or certification for businesses to glorify their product. Encapsulating the essence of sustainable development and providing quality, worthwhile services to customers should be incorporated into every business plan.
What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?
The sustainability challenge I find most intriguing to solve is the issue of inefficient city design compiled with the unsustainable practice of individual automobile transportation.
Who do you admire for championing positive change through business?
My admiration goes to Christian Kroll, the founder of Ecosia. Ecosia is an online search engine that plants trees with the searches of its users, working with multiple organizations to plant trees in 35 countries. Users enjoy the same functionality as other search engines while advertisements are shown to raise money for the Ecosia team to plant trees. The company is B Lab certified, meeting its standards of accountability, sustainability, and performance.
Moving forward, how do you plan to use business as a force for good?
The attributes of business—sales, marketing, advertising, etc.—each have an opportunity to incorporate sustainability. Continuing to be educated on green practices will help me to identify which businesses from which I regularly purchase goods and services are incorporating this mindset into their routined occurrences. Knowing which companies practice sustainability will help me to decide which to avoid and which to support and promote.
What do you think are some challenges with sustainable businesses or becoming a sustainable business?
Some challenges with sustainable businesses present themselves in the form of ideologies—not everyone is righteous enough to be conscious of their actions and the consequences that follow.
What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?
The BSC newsletter and website contain fantastic information for those interested in sustainability. There are also plenty of opportunities on NC State’s campus, such as The Sustainability Stewards which are a group of student ambassadors who host workshops, presentations, and campus events.