MBA Students Assess Sustainability Reporting for Fortune 300 Company

in Energy & Environment Sector, Graduate Students, News, Press Release, Sectors, Social Impact, Students
May 27th, 2010

WindmillsTeam Completes Project for Praxair

In a directed field study, five MBA students from Boston University School of Management worked on a project for the company Praxair, Inc. to assess sustainability reports for compliance with the emerging Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and to make recommendations for improving sustainability stakeholder engagement. Praxair is a $9B, Fortune 300 supplier of industrial gases based in Danbury, CT.

Praxair is the only industrial gas company to achieve a ranking in the 2009/10 world Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and one of only four chemical companies to achieve this ranking for seven consecutive years.

“The students did a great job and provided important input.”

The student team consisted of 2nd years Susie Keane, Ashley Jablow, Lee Wong, Evan DaSilva and Gabriel Wuebben, who presented their final report to Praxair at the corporate headquarters in Danbury, CT last month. Paul McManus served as the faculty leader on the project whose faculty advisory committee included Jim PostJack McCarthy, Nitin Joglekar, and Kristin McCormack.

“Sustainability is rising to the top of the agenda for business in the 21st century. Students see this as both a social need and a competitive opportunity.”

Professor Kristen McCormack, Faculty Director of the Public and Non-Profit Management Program, remarks on the crucial need for field work as part of the MBA student experience: “We build field work projects into many of our courses because it provides students the opportunity to use their newly honed business skills in a practical setting.  The projects also benefit the companies, because the students bring a fresh perspective to entrenched business challenges.”

Along with Riva Krut, Director of Sustainability (and the project “client”) at Praxair, the audience included Corporate Environmental Counsel; SVPs of Sales, and Human Resources; Directors of Diversity, R&D, Corporate Communications, and Leadership Development, as well as several others.

“This was an opportunity for us to receive feedback on our sustainability program from an important stakeholder group.”

One student, Ashley Jablow, remarked, “As a student of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, I’ve found that in-class learning is important but it can only take students so far. This project allowed me and my teammates to step outside of the classroom and consider a real-world case study of how sustainability can align with and add value to corporate strategy. Working with Praxair was an invaluable experience and one of the highlights of my MBA training.”