Green At Work Magazine
Premier Corporate Sustainability Publication
 
NEWS AND INFORMATION
Between Blue and Yellow
Newslines
Corporate Acts
Read On
Green Gateways
GREEN@WORK MAGAZINE
Back Issues
On Our Covers
Feature Stories
Headlines
Special Section
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
Read More >>
Socially responsible investing (SRI) describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good.
Read More >>


green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : May/Jun 2004 : Special Section

Special Section

A Student's Perspective
Connecting Business and the Environment

By Lisa Gomes-Casseres, Yale School of Management and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Special Section

Related Sections
Business as a Key Driver
A Diverse Set of Perspectives
Making a Collective Impact
Connecting Business and the Environment
Sustainability on a Large Scale
Opening New Opportunites
Useful Insights About Effective Leadership

I grew up on a small idyllic island in the Caribbean with beautiful scenery and beaches. At age eight, I noticed the black smoke emanating from the local oil refinery’s smokestacks. Downwind, I saw that the trees were brown and unhealthy. I began to see how pollution can damage communities and nature. The refinery, however, was this tiny island’s largest employer. I quickly realized that its economic power meant that the government was not about to regulate it. I also knew that it was not about to invest in cleaner technologies unless it was forced to do so by the government.

From that moment, I became passionate about “saving the world.” At the same time, I knew that business, environment and law are intricately connected. As I got older, I discovered that there were a lot of people doing environmental law, but there seemed to be few people who were experts at connecting the dots between business and the environment. After exploring this connection for a couple of years at Environmental Defense, I decided to pursue an MBA. The environment is a business issue. As an environmental professional, it was my duty to speak about the issue like a businessperson.

Yale has far surpassed my expectations. There are few places where you can go to a talk by the CEO of GE, discuss marketing strategies for birth control in Bangladesh, and watch a top manager from one of the largest insurance companies in the world announce their intention to invest $100 million to promote the development of carbon markets— all in one day. There are few other places where an entrepreneurship professor with 30 years of experience at a top Wall Street Bank will team up with an environmental science professor to teach a class on writing business plans for environmental ventures—and then help us bring these business ideas to fruition.

I have not only learned a tremendous amount in the last three years, but I believe that I have gained a significant amount of credibility. Many people still believe that shareholder value and environmental protection are at odds with one another. My dream is that some day a company’s CFO will be just as knowledgeable about environmental issues as the EH&S director . . . and that I will be that CFO.


Home | Magazine | Latest Posts | Current News | Media Kit | Contact
Corporate Social Responsibility | Socially Responsible Investing

© 2000-2017 green@work magazine. All rights reserved.
GreenatWork.com