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Penn State Smeal invited to United Nations for corporate sustainability summit

June 21, 2016

The Penn State Smeal College of Business has long been committed to sustainability in the classroom, in its curriculum, and in its day-to-day operations. That commitment has resulted in an invitation to the United Nations. 

Erik Foley, the college’s director of sustainability, will join other representatives from business, government, civil society, and academia at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit from Wednesday through Friday in New York City. 

The summit is designed to highlight how the UN’s newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a market opportunity for business and other stakeholders to innovate, invest, and collaborate to create a more sustainable future.

“The SDGs were officially adopted in 2015 and are a cornerstone for sustainable development,” Foley said. “Smeal will join with other leading business schools, corporations, and financial institutions to share progress in support of its principles. It is an honor to be invited to this high-level discussion.” 

There are 17 SDGs that address a convergence of social, economic, cultural, and ecological issues in areas such as poverty, education, labor rights, and environmental protection. From a business perspective, the SDGs present the range of business challenges and stakeholders corporations can address while sourcing, manufacturing, and selling products; making investments; and reporting on performance. 

Following the summit, business school representatives will meet at Fordham University to strengthen connections and share experiences in integrating sustainability into the research agenda, curriculum, student life, and service. The group is meeting as part of a related UN initiative called Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME): a global consortium of business schools advancing sustainable development education and research. 

About Sustainability at Smeal
The Smeal College of Business is committed to sustainability in education, research, and practice. In 2013, the college's Sustainability Strategic Plan was developed by a college task force and authorized by the dean. Sustainability is infused into courses across the Smeal curriculum, including a two-piece sequence for undergraduates and a concentration in the Penn State Smeal MBA Program. The college also supports faculty research efforts related to business and sustainability, promotes outreach efforts through educational units and research centers, and leads by example in promoting sustainable behavior among current faculty, staff, and students. For more information on sustainability efforts at Smeal, visit www.smeal.psu.edu/sustainability.

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