IGEL’s Mission

To develop, disseminate, and promote knowledge for business sustainability on a global scale through the exchange of insightful academic directive and industry best practices, in order to prepare the current and next generation of leaders to uncover profitable business solutions addressing environmental concerns.

IGEL’s Vision:

The key component of IGEL’s future growth is an action plan that allows academia and business to interface and share knowledge that leads to a more sustainable economy. IGEL invites our corporate and NGO partners into the classroom to prepare future leaders, and invites students and faculty into the boardroom to create transformative research and relationships.

Join us in preparing tomorrow’s leaders!

IGEL’s Goals: A vision for the future

By: Eric Orts, Faculty Director IGEL

The world has changed radically in the last few decades regarding the recognition of the scale of serious environmental problems and the role of business in providing solutions to these problems. The traditional view of business’s response to these threats is shifting. The old view that business should follow whatever environmental protection laws might be adopted and otherwise follow a “hands off” policy is no longer viable. A new perspective proposes that businesses must adopt coherent sustainability strategies for themselves as well as contribute to larger collaborative solutions. An increasing number of companies are tapping into the vast and underdeveloped business in sustainability. This new view has led to what one scholar has called a “green wave” of business conversions to environmentally informed strategies, investments, product development, supply-chain management, and marketing.

Many universities, non-governmental organizations, and private organizations of business interests have recognized these changes and developed programs to address them. Wharton and Penn possess a unique position from which to build a top-rated presence in the business- and-sustainability field. Wharton’s brand recognition, unparalleled research and teaching in business education, and global reach combined with the diversity of scholarship across Penn provide a significant foundation upon which to launch this effort.

These core strengths will set IGEL apart from other institutions. We will offer the leading forum that brings together business, academia, nonprofit, government, and most importantly, students in order to solve global sustainability challenges from a business perspective.

The Initiative’s vision is to become the preeminent institutional and educational catalyst for the adaptation of business policies and practices that will transform the world toward sustainability. Wharton and Penn, under the auspices of IGEL, could become the number one go-to destination that unites business, academia, and future leaders (namely, our students) in tackling and solving the most pressing problems of global environmental sustainability.

2_patrick_cairoPatrick Cairo

Emeritus Founding Member, Wharton IGEL
Former Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy Suez North America

“Sustainable business practices are the cornerstone to successfully addressing current and emerging health, environmental and economic issues in the environmental services arena. Leading in knowledge, innovation, and adaptation of these practices becomes a competitive business necessity, and also brings a framework to the balanced approach expected by Suez customers.”