Published: Jan. 27, 2020 By

Group photo of students on Denver TrekLast Friday, students joined the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility (CESR) for our Denver sustainability career trek to learn about local organizations that are using business to generate a positive impact. CESR’s career treks offer amazing opportunities for Leeds business students to network with professionals at mission driven companies in cities across the country. During our Denver trek, we visited DaVita, Scream Agency, Blue Star Recyclers and the Alliance Center. Be sure to check out our upcoming events if you are interested in learning more about sustainable business!

The first visit of the day was Blue Star Recyclers, a nonprofit social enterprise that recycles electronic waste and employs adults with disAbilities. Studies from Autism Speaks have revealed that almost ninety percent of the autistic population remains unemployed, although they are capable of higher productivity and retention rates than neurotypical adults. The Business Development Manager Lorin Marco explained the organization’s mission, history and sources of revenue. One important revenue stream is generated from salvaging old computer parts and sell them to third parties, which is a lucrative process that could fully sustain their operations. If you have old electronics that you would like to recycle, there is a location in Boulder, Colorado at EcoCycle!

Woman writing on a boardScream Agency is a marketing and PR firm that focuses on building brands for companies that have a meaningful purpose. Laura Ledermann, the Creative Director and Founder of Scream, discussed the history of the company, the impact of Scream’s new B Corporation status and the nature of their operations. Ledermann is a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CCSR) alumna, who asserts that her experience in the course was critical to her career and the trajectory of the firm. At the end of the visit, students had a Q&A session with the Scream team and participated in a simulation as a focus group for a new brand concept. 

At DaVita, a dialysis service provider, students learned about the company’s unique culture how they’ve integrated sustainability into every function, not just jobs with sustainability titles. The Corporate Responsibility Director Rachel Mountin and the Senior Sustainability Manager Casey Stalk explained that their values that affect everything they do at every level within the company, and the community that they have developed in the office. Students took a tour of their new building, which is certified LEED Platinum, and had a Q&A session. 

Every stop prior had mentioned the Alliance Center, our final visit, which demonstrates the organization’s ability to propel the sustainability movement forward in the business world. At the Alliance Center, students engaged in a rapid-fire Q&A with Sarah Snead from the Sierra Club, and Dana Coelho, Director of the Metro Denver Nature Alliance. Once again, students heard the importance of integrating sustainability into every role within an organization. Sustainability should not be a single function attempting to push change in the organization; rather, it should be disseminated into all functions to create a larger impact.

For additional opportunities to learn about sustainability careers, visit the CESR events page for upcoming lunch and learns, panels with professionals and more!