MBA's Present Sustainability Report at Student Scholarship Expo

From left to right: Susannah Gawor, Director of MBA and Falcon Executive MBA Programs, Dr. Bernard Goitein, Professor & Director, Center for Business and Economic Research and MBA students Dan Dugal and Veronika Koubova

April 11, 2012

Two Bradley MBA students will present a sustainability report and recommendations for Bradley University at the 2012 Student Scholarship Expo. Bradley University MBA students Dan Dugal and Veronika Koubova ran the independent study project as a professional consulting engagement.
Dugal stresses that the outcomes of the project were designed as a plan of action.

“We started the project looking at the University’s Five Year Strategic Plan using indicators from that plan,” Dugal said. “The report was built to have strong alignment with Bradley’s specific plan for the future. We based our recommendations on Stewart Hart’s management framework.”
 
The practical approach paid off.

“The greatest surprise is that it is appreciated, and accepted as being valuable,” Koubova said.

Koubova is from the Czech Republic and says there was much to learn.

“I think the challenge was to do a senior project in a different language,” Koubova said. “I learned a lot. I learned how to turn energy consumption into emissions. It was new for me, but I enjoyed it.”

Koubova says it was labor of love.

“First of all, coming from Europe and coming from home we recycle everything,” Koubova explained. “My brother has a Ph.D. in ecology so we are a very environmentally friendly family. It’s difficult for me to understand why some people don’t recycle because it’s a big issue. Every single cup at a coffee shop ends up somewhere. It’s about the change and the willingness to find the positives and move forward with the positives and do something.”
 
Project advisor Professor Bernard Goitein is Director for the Center for Economic Research in Bradley University’s Foster College of Business Administration.

“A study is fine, but you need to go beyond that,” Goitein explained. “You need to show sustainability has a positive benefit with an action recommendation, and you need to integrate that sustainability strategy well with the university strategy for the coming years, taking advantage of potential synergies.”
 
Dugal and Koubova are enthusiastic about the analytical approach they used.

“What good is reporting if it doesn’t drive further action?” Dugal said. “So he [Dr. Goitein] encouraged us to use the report as a fact finding mission to build recommendations that the University could use, not only for sustainability goals but goals aligned with the [Bradley University] Five Year Strategic Plan.”

The project was modeled on similar projects at Dartmouth and Ball State where groups of eight to fifteen students are given an immersive learning opportunity to write a sustainability report for their university.

Sustainability reports vary from company to company, so organizations are attempting to standardize the process. The gold standard is the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) out of The Netherlands. Dugal and Koubova used the latest GRI published standard (G3.1 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines) which outlines a number of different areas where sustainability performance is measured in ways that can be compared with other firms across industries.

“We chose it because other students have used it and it’s the one most frequently used in industry,” Dugal said.
 
The public is invited to attend the presentation, April 18, 2012, 1-3 p.m., in the Bradley University Renaissance Coliseum.