On March 2, 2011, the Earth Institute and the Master of Science program in Sustainability Management at Columbia University hosted a panel of distinguished speakers working at the forefront of sustainability issues. “Bringing Sustainability into Routine Management Decisions” was moderated by Steve Cohen, the Executive Director of the Earth Institute and Director of the M.S. program in Sustainability Management, and featured the following distinguished panelists: Dan Bena, Director of Sustainable Development for PepsiCo; Eliza Eubank, Vice President of Environmental and Social Risk Management at Citigroup; Nilda Mesa, Director of Environmental Stewardship at Columbia University; and Katie Wilson, Principal Consultant with Willdan Financial Services. Panelists discussed the current role of sustainability initiatives in business, ranging from issues of public perception and preferences to the financial challenges associated with sustainability management.
The panel shed light on the key role sustainability now has in management decisions in both the public and private sector. And while all speakers recognized that it remains a complex issue to tackle, especially with an uncertain regulatory environment, their organizations have proved that sustainable business practices are possible and cost-effective, and they continue to play an important role in their day to day operations.