Jenna Scheirman, MBA 2018
This past February, MBA students, business undergraduates and CESR Executive Director Mark Meaney traveled to Portland on the CESR Career Trek for corporate social responsibility.
Sports and CSR
The first day of the trek focused on sustainability in sports. Students visited Green Sports Alliance, a trade organization and non-profit committed to leveraging the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities. Students learned about sustainability initiatives in a wide range of sports including the NBA, ski industry and NASCAR. After visiting the Alliance, students toured the MODA Center, home of NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, to learn about their multi-faceted sustainability efforts including becoming a zero-waste facility.
Shinola, Toms and Hopworks Urban Brewery
During the afternoon some students went on an impromptu visit to Shinola and Toms retail stores to learn about their perspective on corporate social responsibility. Shinola is committed to providing employment opportunities in areas that are struggling economically, such as Detroit. Toms donates to a specific cause depending on what product the customer purchases. For example, when a customer purchases Toms Roasting Co. Coffee Toms works to provide safe drinking water to a person in need. Lastly, students toured Hopworks Urban Brewery. Hopworks is a certified B-Corp and their marketing director talked to the students about the company's commitment to reducing their water usage and ecological footprint by locally sourcing ingredients used to make beer and cider.
Renewable energy and water conservation
The next day, students toured the LEED building where the North American division of Vestas is located. Vestas, headquartered in Denmark, develops, manufactures, sells and maintains wind power plants.
Next, students went to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) where they learned about their environmental products which include renewable energy certificates, carbon offsets and water restoration certificates. Students also learned about BEF’s Change the Course* campaign which is a national freshwater restoration and engagement program. For each person who pledges to reduce his or her water consumption, Change the Course returns 1,000 gallons of water to an ecosystem in need. Next, students visited with a representative from Nike’s Global Community Impact group and learned about the company’s Designed to Move campaign, Nike’s efforts to encourage young people to be more active.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Albina Community Bank and Deschutes Brewery
On the last day of the trek, students visited Stumptown Coffee Roasters and learned about their efforts to source coffee more responsibly. Students then visited the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. Part of what the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability does is reach out to businesses in the community and consult them on how to become sustainable and reduce costs. Students visited Albina Community Bank which is one of the businesses the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability worked with. The trek ended with a presentation at Deschutes Brewery, a company committed to sustainability at all of their brewery locations.
The trek demonstrated that both corporate social responsibility and sustainability take on many forms. As a result, there are ample opportunities for students to become involved with a company committed to CSR or be the catalyst for a new CSR initiative.
Text to restore 1K gallons of water
*The University of Colorado has a partnership with Change the Course called Water for the West. For every free pledge made by the CU community, 1000 gallons of water flow will be restored to the Colorado River. You can restore 1000 gallons of water by texting “CUwater” to 27126.