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Erik Milde

Erik Milde, BSC Associate

Current Degree Program: Jenkins MBA
Previous Degrees: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Geology .
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Areas of Interest in Sustainability: Renewable energy, climate change  and water resources

What does business sustainability mean to you? What do you think sustainability should mean to businesses?

To me business sustainability implies a company’s success doesn’t come at the cost of society at large. That organizations can evaluate their impact on the environment and improve their resiliency. Natural systems and societies are changing, by pursuing sustainable solutions businesses have the chance to consider their impact beyond just to their bottom line. 

What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?

I would love to tackle water quality/scarcity issues. Right now we have areas within the US that struggle with access to clean water. Climate change will only exacerbate these issues as populations continue to relocate. To add to this there are new concerns regarding pollutants in water systems.  

Who do you admire for championing positive change through business?

To be honest I’m not sure if I have anyone just yet. Hopefully I’ll have an update as I assist with BSC.

Moving forward, how do you plan to use business as a force for good?

Given the system we currently have, sustainability needs to be tailored with the economics in mind. An individual can only do so much, but corporations have the power to change how their operations function. By championing more sustainable internal policies a company can make a huge difference in their environmental impact.

What do you think are some challenges with sustainable businesses or becoming a sustainable business?

In the end I think the biggest hurdle really comes down to a business’s bottom line. Restructuring how a company operates towards sustainability requires motivation; to make the benefits outweigh the costs. Luckily, public perception is shifting making companies more willing to make the change.

What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?

Get involved where you can. There are plenty of events across campus as well as organizations to visit! These events give you the opportunity to network and hopefully help you narrow down the direction you’re hoping to take.