Going green is all the buzz in the U.S. these days. Whether propelled by Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth and his academy award for it, the increasingly obvious manifestations of climate change, an ever more demanding public, or increased EPA regulations, there is no question that Corporate America is responding. Whether it's going Green, sustainable or another moniker, Corporate America is taking action, or so it is said, and reported.
Most of the Fortune 500 firms regularly publish annual Sustainability Reports, a growing number have specific sustainability or Green initiatives, and more recently, sustainability officers are an increasingly common title of those responsible for corporate sustainability initiatives. And this phenomena is not limited to the Fortune 500 and the largest firms in the U.S., it has trickled down to medium and even small businesses. Green is clearly in the air, and for many long-time environmental practitioners, they feel this time Green will stick, as it never has before in Corporate America.
There is a need for studies that examine local-regional firms to determine specific green or sustainability initiatives, projects or programs they have undertaken, the costs, the benefits and their return on investment (ROI).
Firms like Hewlett Packard, Sony, Qualcomm, Solar Turbines, NASSCO and others could be chosen as subjects of the research. One possible focus for a team project would be to determine the scope and definition of specific sustainability or Green projects, programs and initiatives, the predicted benefits, the associated costs and the return on investment.
One promising initiative is called the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership (SDRSP). The SDRSP is an information sharing, collaborative effort to reduce pollution, enact energy savings, and to improve the quality of life in the San Diego Region. UCSD is a member of this partnership.
Group page: RESEARCH TEAM: Greening of Business: Socio-economic and regulatory challenges (mentor: Patti Krebbs; research team supporters: Al Hurt, John Grosskopf, Jerome Jaminet)