Jan 6, 2020 | Atlanta, GA
Written by Jennifer Holley Lux
Faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business at Scheller College of Business (“Center”) contributed to Georgia Tech’s inaugural Sustainability Showcase. The public event, which was organized by the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems (“BBISS”), occurred over three full days, from October 28 through 30. It was held at the recently opened Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, the most environmentally advanced education and research building ever constructed in the Southeast.
Sustainability has increasingly become a characteristic that defines much of the work being done by the Georgia Tech community. In 2018, it was the topic of no fewer than 160 courses and nearly 25% of the Institute’s research programs (not including those funded by the U.S. Department of Defense). Michael Chang, deputy director of BBISS, who spearheaded the event, said, “Keeping track of who is doing what has become more and more difficult. We at BBISS envisioned the Showcase as a vehicle for increasing awareness of sustainability-related work across all six colleges, GTRI, and the Interdisciplinary Research Institutes, as well as for fostering more collaborative relationships among them.”
Over 150 members of the Georgia Tech community shared their current work in sustainability research and education. The hallmark of the event was the “lightning talk,” which allowed a large number of presenters the opportunity to summarize and spark interest in their work in just a few minutes. Filling out the schedule were poster presentations, tours of the Kendeda Building, and keynote addresses by John Brock (former chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.), G. Wayne Clough (president emeritus of Georgia Tech and former secretary of the Smithsonian Institution), and John Lanier (executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation).
Presentations affiliated with the Center included:
- Incentives for Workplace Safety (Ravi Subramanian, faculty)
- Optimal Service Portfolio for Non-Profit Organizations Serving Distressed Individuals (Karthik Ramachandran, faculty)
- Environmental Externalities and Cost of Capital (Sudheer Chava, faculty)
- Supply Chain Transparency as a Mechanism to Promote Social & Environmental Responsibility (Basak Kalkanci, faculty)
- Product Recalls and Corporate Social Responsibility (Manpreet Hora, faculty)
- Advancing the UN SDGs and Education for Sustainable Development at Georgia Tech and Across the Greater Atlanta Region (David Eady, industry engagement manager of the Center)
- Beyond Carbon Considerations in Georgia Drawdown (Michael Oxman, managing director of the Center)
- Energy Affordability in Atlanta (Beril Toktay, faculty director of the Center)
- Sustainable Undergraduate Research Fellow Poster Presentation (William Abdallah, undergraduate sustainability ambassador)
Center Faculty Director Beril Toktay remarked, “Sustainability is truly interwoven throughout the fabric of Georgia Tech. The Sustainability Showcase—with participation from so many colleagues from across campus—made this fact even more apparent. I was especially proud to see the high level of involvement from Scheller College faculty. By producing innovative research and infusing sustainability throughout the curriculum, they are influencing responsible business practices and inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”
Sponsors for the Sustainability Showcase included the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business, BBISS, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, and the Sustainable Design & Manufacturing Lab.