Future Climate Careers in Reporting and Measuring Climate Impact, Climate Strategies, and Climate Operations
I came two years ago to Goizueta Business School to enhance my skills as a business leader who leaves a positive impact on society. My own passion for sustainability was instilled in me by my birthright as a Costa Rican citizen. It was further reinforced when I realized the inequitable consequences of the climate crisis, a phenomenon that affects every country in the world. However, regardless of each country’s level of contribution, the impact will not be felt equally across all regions. This inequality is what bothered me the most about the climate crisis. In an attempt to expand my knowledge on this topic, I attended the Global ClimateCAP Summit.
The ClimateCAP Summit is not your average MBA event. In fact, it’s not even specifically for MBA candidates, for it brings together students, business leaders, and experts from around the world. Over the weekend, attendees were offered the chance to learn more about how climate change is shaping industries and markets, where the greatest financial and operational risks lie, and what promising innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities are emerging.
The summit offered numerous workshops and panels on topics ranging from impact investing, climate change, business opportunities, and future careers related to reporting and measuring climate impact. The initial message at the conference comes as no surprise: climate change is the single greatest challenge facing our planet and humankind today. The world cannot afford to delay any longer. Addressing the impact of climate change will require the greatest reengineering of the global economy since the Industrial Revolution. In order to succeed in this “Green Revolution,” a monumental shift toward sustainability is required to successfully decarbonize our economies and provide the appropriate incentives to achieve this transformation. With this in mind, a considerable gap exists between where we are currently and where we want to be as a society. Furthermore, there does not exist a standardized methodology to measure and model climate risk that provides investors with critical research, tools, and solutions that supports their investment decisions and helps accelerate this Green Revolution.
As we complete our MBA degrees and begin our new positions in the workforce, we are mandated to drive change. One of my favorite parts of the conference was listening to the fireside chats by Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL 6th District) and Bruno Sarda (Principal/Partner EY). Both mentioned our responsibilities to become leaders of change and exhort our future employers to be more transparent to the public and to government regulators regarding mitigation of emissions. This is critical because of the abundance of uncertainty around the metrics and terminology of going “green.” In order to comply with environmental activities and regulations, many companies are using third-party platforms. Yet, in many instances, this is still in a nascent stage, and it is critical that we, as future leaders, work towards shaping this change in collaboration with governmental authorities. Companies that refuse to change will receive pressure from technological advances, regulation, and industry disruption.
A final key takeaway from the conference was regarding the growth of “green jobs” in the corporate world, including Sustainability Officer, LEED- Accredited Design Professional & Environmental Lawyer. Goizueta has taken on the challenge of creating a new generation of leaders who will successfully delve into these issues within the impact ecosystem. The school’s newly launched DEI concentration will be a source of distinction that will help shape the future of business.
These two years at Emory University have helped me change my perspective on sustainable business development. Successful completion of Societal Impact Class, active membership in Goizueta Impact Investors, and attendance at the MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network & Training) competition have helped me re-shape my way of thinking and taught me how to effectively approach business opportunities.
A delegation of 18 MBA students from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School recently attended the ClimateCAP Global Summit to discuss the enormous influence and responsibility business leaders hold in driving toward a climate-smart world. Along with hundreds of leading students and professionals from across the nation, they explored the financial risks and opportunities of climate change along with important stakeholder responsibilities that define how a climate-smart business operates. Through the Business & Society Institute, students, faculty, staff, and partners focus on addressing complex challenges confronting people, the planet, and the business community through academic discovery and purposeful action. To learn more about Goizueta Business School and how principled leaders are driving positive change, visit goizueta.emory.edu.