Walker College sustainable business director offers five ways for corporate sustainability professionals to make strides during COVID-19

A new article from Dr. Rajat Panwar, Sustainable Business Director for the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University, offers guidance for corporate sustainability managers in the COVID-19 recovery landscape.

The article, “A tightrope walk ahead for corporate sustainability managers” has been published at greenbiz.com, which is a leading outlet to advance opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability and to stimulate cutting-edge conversations on these topics. In the article, Panwar urges sustainability professionals to “be active partners in helping their companies recover from economic hardships.”

Panwar says that these professionals may garner more trust for sustainability units within their companies, in turn enhancing internal support for corporate sustainability programs in the long term, in 5 ‘C’ ways:

  1. Focus on COMMUNITIES. Engaging in community-oriented projects provides companies with visibility, goodwill, improved employees pride and enhanced societal trust. 

  2. Develop COALITIONS with other businesses. Sourcing and purchasing locally can help revitalize small businesses, contribute to the focus on communities and help meet broad sustainability goals.

  3. Display CREATIVITY. Drawing on concepts like frugal innovation may spur outside-the-box thinking that leads to simple solutions to complex problems. 

  4. Show genuine CONCERN. Displaying empathy and cultivating fraternity within communities and companies; open wounds need urgent treatment.

  5. Get everyone on board with the CHANGES. Adjusting corporate sustainability programs will require keeping up the spirits of team members.

“Sustainability is about resilience and adaptation,” said Panwar. “Sustainability managers will have to show both in the coming months.”

Panwar and his research colleagues at Appalachian aim to address complex issues in business and help co-create a more sustainable world through conducting applied research that directly influences industry practices. 

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and 175 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. Learn more at https://business.appstate.edu.

About Sustainable Business at Appalachian

Appalachian’s Walker College of Business is committed to advancing sustainable business practices that promote responsible management of economic, social and natural resources. The theory and practice of sustainable business recognizes that the economy, environment and society (the triple bottom line) are interconnected and interdependent, and strives to enhance the business model so that it can flourish and thrive to benefit future generations. The college offers a sustainable business minor available to business and nonbusiness majors, a bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and policy, and an MBA concentration in sustainable business. The programs focus on student engagement, research and community involvement. For more information, visit business.appstate.edu/sustainability.

Rajat Panwar
Published: Jun 15, 2020 2:39pm