McCombs School to host Nov. 6-9 national green business conference

Nov. 3, 2003

AUSTIN, Texas—Reflecting the philosophy that green business is good business, The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business is hosting the Net Impact 2003 Conference Nov. 6-9.

The event is drawing more than 1,000 MBAs, business leaders and alumni from around the world to discuss corporate social responsibility, business ethics and environment-friendly business practices.

The theme of this year’s conference is “From Corporation to Community, Building a Network for Change,” and business leaders will be able to choose from panel discussions, professional development workshops and a career expo where they may discuss the challenge of building socially and environmentally sensitive companies.

The conference includes a keynote address by Reginald Van Lee, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and leader of the Harlem Small Business Initiative, as well as panels moderated by representatives from major multinational companies such as Hewlett Packard, Intel, Reliant Energy and Procter and & Gamble.

“The business world has changed a lot over the past few years,” says Richard Amato, director of the university’s Clean Energy Incubator and moderator for one of the conference panels. “Knowing about green business, alternative energy, sustainable resources and global economies is so much more important than it was before, and training in that is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury. Consumers and the general public are savvy and are demanding more of business, expecting corporations to be more socially responsible.”

Panel topics at this year’s conference include:

  • Green Building and the Corporate Bottom Line
  • Trends in Socially Responsible Investing
  • Making a Life, Making a Living
  • Procter & Gamble Case Study: Developing Sustainable Products

In addition to Van Lee, the conference will feature keynote addresses from Marion Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, and Seth Goldman, CEO of Honest Tea. Additional panelists include representatives from The World Bank, Whole Foods, ConocoPhillips and The Calvert Group.

“Conferences like this are the heart and soul behind change in the business world,” says Goldman. “When you get all of these high-powered, very intelligent MBAs and business people who care about social issues in the same room and they start networking, you feel like anything’s possible. I hope that gatherings like this help students remember that there’s a way to do what you believe in and make a living.”

In keeping with the spirit of the conference, transportation will be provided by Capital Metro’s new hybrid-electric buses. Capital Metro is the only transit authority in Texas selected for a pilot program to test the environmentally-friendly buses, which use half as much fuel as diesel buses and cut exhaust emissions, such as carbon monoxide, up to 90 percent.

Created by a small group of Georgetown University MBA students who wanted a vehicle for change, Net Impact is a network of about 7,000 business students and leaders worldwide who believe in “using the power of business to create a better world.” The organization has experienced explosive growth since its creation, under a different name, in 1993, and this year’s University of Texas at Austin chapter of Net Impact is the largest ever, with more than 100 members.

For more information contact: Misty Alejo, conference co-chair, 512-471-4867, or Kay Randall, Office of Public Affairs, 512-232-3910.