SF State News {University Communications}

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Teens learn the business of sustainability

July 19, 2011 -- High school students recently spent a week at the Downtown Campus learning about sustainability and how businesses can help solve environmental and social issues. The course was a pilot program organized by the University's Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business in partnership with Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory school.

Photo of high school students at the Downtown Campus

"Many of the students said it was a transformative experience," said Murray Silverman, chair of management. "It changed the way they think about the products they buy, how they use them and the people in the supply chain who work on farms and in factories."

Students were introduced to the social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainable business. They also learned how to analyze a product's impact, including the raw materials used, how it is manufactured and how consumers use and dispose of it. Classes were taught by Silverman along with Associate Professor of Management Bruce Paton, Assistant Professor of Management Denise Kleinrichert and several alums from the MBA program.

The Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business was established in fall 2010 to provide a hub for sustainability research, teaching and outreach.  

"The Center aims to equip the University's business students to be leaders and change agents in sustainable business," Silverman said. "But the real transformation begins when younger students understand these issues. We hope to plan further high school outreach that will introduce ideas about sustainable business earlier on in the curriculum."


-- Elaine Bible


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