Going Green Globally, or G3 as it is typically referred to, is designed as a cornerstone, hands-on, practical, integrative business environment that brings together first-year MBA student teams with real clients, university faculty, and industry experts to work on client strategic initiatives and sustainability plans. The annual project, at the end of the second semester of the full-time program, is an intense 12-day consulting assignment which brings together many of the program’s first year lessons as well as the need for creative thinking and teamwork.
Some of the most challenging problems of the 21st century require comprehensive sustainability strategies, an awareness of global opportunities, and the ability to manage in a shrinking world. Together, MBA students and organizations find ways for the clients to become green in both senses of the word: to reduce costs and/or enhance revenues by being more sustainable. Here is a recent Business Review article and more pictures.
When presenting this year’s award for Exemplary Community Engagement, UAlbany President Jones stated: “G3 demonstrates the highest level of engaged teaching, learning and service in the full-time MBA program through a collaborative cornerstone project. Student teams work with local organizations, faculty, local experts and policy makers to develop strategies for environmental sustainability that will manage the Triple Bottom Line – People, Planet and Profit. Management Dept., School of Business, with faculty also from Atmospheric Sciences, CNSE, and various Capital Region partners were all involved in accomplishing this excellent result.”
Each year, G3 culminates with boardroom style presentations delivered to clients, faculty, executives, university guests, and MBA students. Here are summaries of this year’s six G3 projects:
Port of Albany handles approximately 400,000 tons of cargo each year from all over the world, and like many state agencies is facing the upcoming Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) deadline which mandates that all diesel equipment be retrofitted with particulate emission filters by December 31, 2013. The UAlbany project team researched ways to comply with the regulation and recommended the diesel forklift engines be replaced with CNG engines. Currently, compressed natural gas is cheaper than diesel and produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions. This could save the Port of Albany roughly $80,000 annually, which it can use to invest in a new Liebherr crane thereby replacing the current American Crawler crane where engine replacement is not feasible. The project will take approximately one and a half months to replace the existing engines and install the necessary fueling station. By implementing a rotating schedule, the Port will not interrupt the process for any incoming vessels.
SABIC Innovative Plastics (a prior G3 participant) is a world leader in providing engineering thermoplastic material solutions. The UAlbany team recommends that SABIC implement a “closed-loop water recovery system” which will redirect the treated wastewater back into the facilities for production purposes. This proposal is projected to recycle forty percent of the water SABIC currently uses. Reducing dependency on the municipality of Bethlehem will create a green footstep towards the direction of a sustainable future. SABIC is considering additional value-adding projects that can be implemented on a smaller scale, including the use of faucet aerators in sinks throughout the site to reduce water consumption by thirty percent. Whether it be small or large investments, SABIC will continue on its journey to deliver quality products using a sustainable approach that is not only beneficial for the company but for the community as well.
Stewart’s Shops (second year G3 participant) has been proudly serving local communities for more than 50 years. To complement initiatives already underway, the UAlbany team recommends installing a new Cleaning in Place (CIP) system in its manufacturing operation to reduce water consumption. This cleaning system can potentially save approximately 4 million gallons of water annually, equivalent to 25 million 20 oz. water bottles. In addition, the team recommended that Stewart’s promote their efforts by a process of “green branding” involving employees, customers, and the community.
Troy Rehabilitation and Improvement Program (TRIP), Inc. (second year G3 participant) is a comprehensive community development corporation with the mission of enabling individuals and families to live in desirable, sustainable neighborhoods. After making energy efficient renovations inside its main office last year as the result of UAlbany team recommendations, TRIP will be taking its energy initiatives outdoors. The UAlbany team recommended installing solar panels as an alternative energy source on the roof of its main office located at 415 River Street in Troy, by entering a power purchasing agreement (PPA) as the best way for a non-profit. Also recommended was reducing its paper usage by moving to an electronic document management system. These efforts will not only benefit TRIP, but by using clean energy will also decrease its carbon footprint, demonstrating a commitment to the community and environment as a whole.
Turf Hotels (second year G3 participant) is a regional hotel management company consisting of four cross-brand hotels within a 50 mile radius of Albany, NY. The hotel group will break ground in July for its green Staybridge Hotel. For its current Homewood Suites on Wolf Road, the MBA team recommended installing solar hot water along with an Energy Monitoring Dashboard to make the system more effective. In addition, the team recommended other minor initiatives such as installing dimmers on the basketball court when not in use, using LED light bulbs in common areas, and on what is required to become more green and LEED-certified in future buildings.
Windham Mountain (the CEO is a second time G3 participant) ski resort in the Catskills has already invested over $200,000 to implement sustainable changes such as an energy-efficient snowmaking infrastructure, light bulbs and a sensor system in its main lodge, and an electric vehicle charging station. The UAlbany project team analyzed a diverse group of opportunities and recommended Windham Mountain implement a composting initiative to reduce organic waste that can be developed for local farm and nursery venues in the community. Also recommended was a centralized purchasing system that will utilize the company’s existing Resort Technology Partners system at its Food and Beverage profit centers to consolidate orders resulting in reduced waste and fuel emissions from fewer shipments and less packaging. Together, these initiatives are projected to produce combined cost savings and revenue generation of over $390,000 over the next 5 years.
Paul Miesing and Linda Krzykowski are “Managing Partners” for G3: Going Green Globally. He has taught in the UAlbany MBA program for over 30 years, published dozens of articles and papers in both academic and practitioner journals, and travels and lectures around the world. The G3 program invites organizations interested in becoming a client to contact them at http://tinyurl.com/UAlbanyG3 .