MBA Students Assess Sustainability Reporting for Fortune 300 Company
Team Completes Project for Praxair
In a directed field study, five MBA students from Boston University School of Management worked on a project for the company Praxair, Inc. to assess sustainability reports for compliance with the emerging Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and to make recommendations for improving sustainability stakeholder engagement. Praxair is a $9B, Fortune 300 supplier of industrial gases based in Danbury, CT.
Praxair is the only industrial gas company to achieve a ranking in the 2009/10 world Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and one of only four chemical companies to achieve this ranking for seven consecutive years.
The student team consisted of 2nd years Susie Keane, Ashley Jablow, Lee Wong, Evan DaSilva and Gabriel Wuebben, who presented their final report to Praxair at the corporate headquarters in Danbury, CT last month. Paul McManus served as the faculty leader on the project whose faculty advisory committee included Jim Post, Jack McCarthy, Nitin Joglekar, and Kristin McCormack.
Professor Kristen McCormack, Faculty Director of the Public and Non-Profit Management Program, remarks on the crucial need for field work as part of the MBA student experience: “We build field work projects into many of our courses because it provides students the opportunity to use their newly honed business skills in a practical setting. The projects also benefit the companies, because the students bring a fresh perspective to entrenched business challenges.”
Along with Riva Krut, Director of Sustainability (and the project “client”) at Praxair, the audience included Corporate Environmental Counsel; SVPs of Sales, and Human Resources; Directors of Diversity, R&D, Corporate Communications, and Leadership Development, as well as several others.
One student, Ashley Jablow, remarked, “As a student of sustainability and corporate social responsibility, I’ve found that in-class learning is important but it can only take students so far. This project allowed me and my teammates to step outside of the classroom and consider a real-world case study of how sustainability can align with and add value to corporate strategy. Working with Praxair was an invaluable experience and one of the highlights of my MBA training.”