Sustainable Development Revival in the EcoInnovation District

Recently, our MBA Sustainability cohort participated in a community redesign forum inthe Uptown district of Pittsburgh, which is where Duquesne’s campus resides. This area is undergoing a sustainable development revival, and this renewal has been proclaimed as the EcoInnovation District. The event was a meeting of different stakeholders in the area to discuss the progress of the project and add new ideas.

Students who attended the event said, “It is encouraging to see people that care so much about helping out a part of our city that has a great history,” and that it was “eye-opening” and “refreshing.” Others were pleased to to see the project team “recognize that the people are the core of the community and their opinions really matter,” and that is what this project is all about.

The ideas for what the district will become are coming from the local residents, and those who come to the area for work or business. This allows for stakeholders who know what is best for this area to come forth and express the exact changes that this part of the city needs. Everyone at Duquesne’s sMBA program is eager to contribute to this amazing effort in sustainable development.

UptoUs Duq Team Raises Awareness and Turns Heads

With an unconventional approach to attract attention, using a MoneyMachine to spark people’s interest, Duquesne’s UptoUs competition team held an awareness event at the Union that featured a Money Machine, free food, and prizes! The UptoUs team, which is made up of members from the MBA Sustainability cohort, informed the campus about the over $19 trillion debt the country has right now and brought a ton of attention to the issue. Check out all the photos and reasons why Duquesne students care about our national debt! Also, make sure to come to our other events, including a Trivia Night, during this month which will have even more prizes and fun!

Sustainable Design Centers Consulting Projects this Semester

duq-main-logo2.gifDesigning an urban oasis in cooperation with Phipps Conservatory, developing an innovative restaurant concept in conjunction with Eat’N Park, and identifying best practices in financing sustainable building construction and renovation with the Green Building Alliance are the three consulting projects our cohort is working on this semester!

Each of these endeavors comes with a unique set of challenges, and our cohort is eager to utilize the many frameworks, theories, and ideas that we have learned throughout our time in the MBA Sustainability program in real-world applications. We believe that these three ventures are ideal for implementing sustainable principles throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

We are thankful and excited for the opportunity to work with real world companies, and make a positive change in multiple industries!

Net Impact Mixer at the Science Center

12512828_10153231241192204_8071218061155347040_nMembers from across campuses in the Net Impact community met to explore the wonderment and knowledge inside the Carnegie Science Center. The 12507582_10153231241122204_8672163904666736950_n21+ Night was the stage for a meeting of minds, and some fun, as members of Duquesne, Chatham, and Carnegie Mellon Net Impact chapters came together to network. The night included exciting conversations, interesting exhibits, and enjoyable times in the interactive kid’s area. It was a great evening of meeting new people who had the same drive and motivation to make the change that they want to see in the world.

Why Pittsburgh is an Ideal Place for Young Talent

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“Pittsburgh has a hunger for new, younger, educated employees,” according to Laura Fisher, the Senior Vice President for Workforce and Special Projects of the Allegheny Conference. One reason why Pittsburgh is ideal for young people is that the median salary in Pittsburgh is at the national average, but the cost of living is well below the national average.

At our recent Ignite Your Career event, Fisher told us that companies want leaders who can “navigate change and foster innovation.” Our MBA is designed to give us the skills and competencies to solve “complex problems,” which Fisher says “is more important than your major.” Fisher was the mastermind behind ImaginePittsburgh.com, a site devoted to retaining and bringing talent to the region. This site has over 20,000 job postings for the Pittsburgh region!

Special thanks Laura Fisher and the alumni who shared tips for resumes, LinkedIn presence, and job searching techniques to help us master the job market.

Duquesne MBAs Intend to Power Pittsburgh like Doc Powered the DeLorean: W2E!

In “Back to the Future II” (1989), Doc raids Marty’s garbage and turns it into fuel for his DeLorean.  No longer science fiction, converting waste to energy (W2E) is the absolute cutting edge of renewable fuel in the United States, and it could be coming to Pittsburgh soon.

For our first consulting project, we are collaborating with quasar energy group to explore feasibility and public-private partnerships for turning bio-waste into energy.  On a rainy day in late October, our MBA Sustainability class, accompanied by several professors and graduate students from Duquesne’s environmental science program, took a trip to Wooster, Ohio.  Why Wooster, you ask? Wooster is home to quasar’s partner, Ohio State’s agricultural institute, and their flagship anaerobic digester facilities that turn bio-waste into energy.

Anaerobic digestion technology provides clean, renewable energy for our homes and cars. The process takes organic waste and breaks it down in the absence of oxygen to harvest the energy insides.  When forty percent of food produced in America ends up in a landfill, this technology aims to provide an alternative.[1] The opportunity is huge:  In just the 2nd quarter of 2015, Allegheny County sent almost 407,000 tons of waste to the landfill![2]

We are ecstatic to be tackling such a massive problem. As one student named Mark said, “Coming from the energy field, I am really looking forward to working with anaerobic digestion technology to help find renewable solutions to our country’s energy issues.”

“Doc needs fuel” clip:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HYoq6vIVXc


[1] NRDC Issue Paper – Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40% of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.
[2] “Municipal Waste Disposal Information.” Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Bureau of Waste Management. 11 Aug, 2015. Web. 30 Oct, 2015.

Power of 32 Conference

On December 11, 2014 more than 400 people gathered at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the Energy for the Power of 32 Conference. We presented our posters to attendees ranging in topics from city resiliency to impact investing to green roofing. It was exciting to be able to talk with others about a topic we are passionate about outside of the classroom.

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Meredith, Arielle, Clare, Patrick, Derek and Taylor challenge attendees to create fuel from waste.

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Katie, Ronna, Alyssa and Vani applaud Pittsburgh’s initiatives as a most resilient city.

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Liis, Dave, Katherine and Caitlin demonstrate how green roofs solve water, drain off and energy challenges

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Brandon, Colin, Kristy, Anastasia and Jamie present the possible social benefits of impact investing.

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Elise, Jacob, Meng, Molly and Dan encourage investment in clean energy.

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Gina, Sarah, Kamryn, Phil and Nayan explain how microgrids would solve wasted energy challenges.

 

 

 

 

The keynote speaker in the morning was very informative. He discussed how we need to focus on health as a reason to improve our energy. He used Pittsburgh as an example of how cleaning up your city can improve the quality of life for citizens and help business at the same time.

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Kamryn and Sarah discuss their poster with an attendee.

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Katie and Ronna listen as an attendee discusses their poster.

 

The highlight of the conference was the chance to work in small groups to discuss regional energy values and principles, key issues and opportunities to be addressed in a regional plan, and how to best conduct the Power of 32 regional energy planning process. After the discussions, ideas were shared with the larger group. It was interesting to see the wide range of ideas that came out of the conference and what our regions future may look like.

Duquesne Places Third in the Green Workplace Challenge

By: Matt Lepri

GWC photoOver the past nine months, I had the great opportunity to oversee Duquesne University’s MBA Sustainability program’s involvement in this years Green Workplace Challenge (GWC). The Pittsburgh GWC is a year-long competition for organizations, such as Duquesne, to save money and gain recognition through the implementation of green initiatives.

As part of my fellowship duties for the MBA Sustainability program, I tracked, measured, and implemented sustainability initiatives over a wide range of categories which include: energy, water, waste, transportation, policy, and engagement.​ In the University division, Duquesne placed in 3rd place and earned a total of 107 green action points. The competition-wide sustainable initiatives reaped incredible savings, as participants in total saved 37,300,000 kWh of energy, valued at over $3 million, 5,421,000 gallons of water, and 4821 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions​.

Student Spotlight: Derick Florian

1395183_696689442043_1255847136_nBefore Duquesne: Derick, a Pittsburgh native, attended The Ohio State University where he majored in Mandarin Chinese and minored in Business.

Why Duquesne: “I chose this MBA program for the ability to participate in the live consulting projects”. This year Derick had the opportunity to complete consulting projects with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Braskem, and B Corps. Duquesne gave him the opportunity to compete in various case competitions including the Aspen Business & Society International Case Competition and the ACG Cup. Derick was part of the team that placed 2nd place in the Aspen business & Society International MBA Competition.

Beyond Duquesne: After graduation, Derick is excited to pursue a management role in a supply chain. In the future, Derick is interested in opportunities in China since he enjoys the Chinese language and culture.

A Glimpse into the Energy Innovation Center

Throughout the past week, all six consulting groups in the cohort had the opportunity to meet with their respective clients for the summer semester.  I am lucky to work with Pittsburgh Green Innovators (PGI) this semester!  I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with such an innovative and impactful non-profit organization.  PGI is a non-profit organization committed to growing a vibrant green economy and community by collaboratively leveraging regional strengths through innovation, education, workforce development, and cultivation of sustainable business opportunities.

PGI has been an involved in planning process for the new Energy Innovation Center, and they will be a tenant in just a few months! The mission of the Energy Innovation Center is to contribute to socially responsible workforce development, foster energy and sustainable technology advancement, and assist in job creation through a commitment to diversity, innovation and comprehensive education.  Our first meeting with PGI included a tour of the new Energy Innovation Center, and their space within the larger building.

Enjoy the pictures from our visit!

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