Business leaders joined UCLA faculty, environmental researchers and graduate students in the Leaders in Sustainability Program at the first Institute of the Environment (IoE)Corporate Partners Program event, held March 18, 2010 at the UCLA Faculty Center.
Developed by the Institute’s Center for Corporate Environmental Performance, the Corporate Partners Program draws upon the philosophy that the development and communication of effective environmental practices is both good corporate citizenship and good business. The Program brings companies together with faculty, researchers, students and other firms to explore cutting-edge business opportunities in environment and sustainability. The Corporate Partnersannual giving program supports the high quality research and education provided by the IoE.
A formal presentation honored the ten founding partners: ACI International, Boeing, Citadel Environmental Services, Chem-Jet International, Chevron, Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market, Southern California Edison, Phylmar Group, Vertum Partners and Walt Disney Imagineering. Dr. Rick Greenwood from Southern California Edison stated “We benefit from academic research in environmental protection and sustainability, and the students it educates, which, in turn, strengthens us and our ability to serve our customers.”
Other businesses attending the event to learn about the IoE’s Corporate Partners Program include: Adi Liberman & Associates, AECOM, Barton Myers Associates, CODA Automotive, Honda, Edelman Public Relations, Industry Entertainment, Malcolm Pirnie, Ralphs, Sony Pictures Entertainment, VerdeXchange, Volcom and others. The IoE’s multidisciplinary faculty and Leaders in Sustainability students exchanged contacts and ideas with the attendees and founding partners.
Tony Pritzker, Chairman of the IoE Board of Advisors, praised the companies’ commitment to the pursuit of green business practices, and commended the Institute for changing the paradigm of university environmental institutions in developing this partnership and integrating business into its environmental education and research programs. Professor Magali Delmas, who established the Corporate Partners Programat the Institute of the Environment stated, “We look forward to working with businesses that share our commitment to innovative research in environment and sustainability. The IoE is excited about the opportunity to share with, learn from, and work with our current and future partners.”
The evening’s featured speaker, Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, was there to deliver an insightful talk on the future of California carbon reduction legislation, AB 32.
She said, “To successfully reduce carbon emissions in California, we need technology innovation. But we also need a healthy business environment in California, so that green technology businesses and sustainable businesses that start in California stay in California. UCLA’s IoECorporate Partners Program is a step in that direction. New working relationships like this, between business and the University, are essential to creating an economy that reduces carbon emissions and increases jobs.”