Sarah Henderson, BSC Associate
Current Degree Program: Jenkins MBA at NC State University.
Previous Degrees: Polymer and Color Chemistry BS from NC State Wilson College of Textiles
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Areas of Interest in Sustainability: Circular economies (closing the loop on consumer goods), recycled textiles, carbon capture technologies
What does business sustainability mean to you? What do you think sustainability should mean to businesses?
Sustainability to me means being a good steward to the planet, our resources are finite and we should be responsible with them to ensure the next generations can have happy and healthy lives.
Sustainability in business means ensuring responsible sourcing of raw materials and ensuring the consumer has a way to responsibly dispose of a product at the end of it’s life.
What sustainability challenge would you most like to solve?
Closing the loop on products that have reached their end of life; making sure resources can be reused or recycled into a new product.
Who do you admire for championing positive change through business?
I admire the work of Rachel Carson who challenged the over use of pesticides in the 1950s & 60s with her book Silent Spring. Carson was brave enough to speak out against the chain of effects of pesticide over use and challenged the direction of modern science. I view Carson as a pioneer of making business a force for good.
Moving forward, how do you plan to use business as a force for good?
I hope to use my MBA studies to investigate sustainability issues and opportunities in business and then apply my degree to being a problem solver in those issue areas upon graduation.
What do you think are some challenges with sustainable businesses or becoming a sustainable business?
Sustainability is no longer a buzzword and is a requirement for businesses today. One challenge with becoming a sustainable business is getting consumers to change their habits; it’s easier to put your trash in one bin than it is to separate the recyclables and non recyclables. Another challenge is knowing where to get started, there isn’t a set path to becoming a sustainable business and it can be difficult to know what your roadmap should be.
What’s your advice for fellow students who might be interested in sustainability, but don’t know where to start?
Watch the Our Planet docuseries on Netflix, and sign up for the BSC Newsletter at NC State!