Resetting the New Normal

July 06, 2016

chart

How Companies are Driving Sustainability Forward

This article was written by SOM student Lydia Hardy and originally appeared in its entirety in the Fall 2015 issue of Management Magazine.

When asked to come up with a concise definition for the broad and multidimensional topic of sustainability, Nancy Buzby, senior director of strategic marketing initiatives at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), didn’t hesitate. “Sustainability is good business.” While this might sound like a biased answer coming from someone who works for an organization that tackles some of the most environmentally critical problems facing the planet, this was a common theme throughout the night at the fall 2015 Simmons Net Impact Panel, What Does Sustainability Mean to You? More and more companies, established and entrepreneurial, are increasing their commitment to sustainability and seeing it pay off in big ways. Buzby was joined by Mark Buckley, vice president of environmental affairs at Staples, and Kyle Cahill, director of sustainability and environmental health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. The topic of sustainability was explored as it relates to business, ethos, and environmental impact. The panelists highlighted how their organizations are striving to reset the new normal and impact others within their sphere of influence.

The business case for sustainability 
Expanding on her definition of sustainability, Buzby, a Simmons SOM Alumna, went on to describe how EDF works to fulfill its mission by finding scalable solutions for businesses that allow nature and people to prosper. Partnering with well-established companies, EDF works on the ground with them to make the business case for sustainability and develop solutions that can be used among a diverse set of business sectors— creating a ripple effect.