Earth Day: Sustainable business management experts discuss why companies are placing more importance on running a sustainable business and the impact of those decisions on the environment

Earth Day experts available
Sustainable business management experts from DePaul University discuss and give insight on Earth Day topics including why companies are placing more importance on running a sustainable business and how those decisions impact the environment. (Photo by Jeff Carrion)
CHICAGO — DePaul University faculty experts are available to provide commentary and insight on Earth Day topics, including the importance of sustainable management and the relationship between being ethical and being environmentally conscious.

Experts available for media interviews include:

Scott Kelley, assistant professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Kelley is an assistant professor of religious studies and vice-president in the university’s Office of Mission and Values. He can explain the importance of sustainable management and how it relates to business ethics. “There is an important distinction to be made between business ethics as it is commonly understood and sustainable management,” said Kelley. “Business ethics tends to focus on compliance and adherence to ethical standards that exist outside of a company. Sustainable management, on the other hand, is deeply internalized, where there are no clear standards or answers outside of the company,” he said.

“Sustainable management is the foundation of business viability and long-term success in the 21st century. It is not just important, alongside other things that are important. It is the singular imperative for the future of business. There is no business to be done on a dead planet and our planet is clearly in a cycle of decline. That's what the signs of the times are telling us,” said Kelley. He can be reached at skelley6@depaul.edu or 773-325-6674.

Ron Nahser, Senior Wicklander Fellow, Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, Driehaus College of Business. Nahser, an expert on business ethics, can speak about sustainable management practices. “Sustainable management is something that must be put into practice, it’s not about installing solar panels or driving electric cars; it’s about our whole economic and social system. Companies are beginning to realize that sustainable management is important not only to their brand, but to the world,” said Nahser. “Today’s managers are stepping beyond the scope of traditional business practices by being creative with imaginative strategies for achieving not only financial viability but also social justice and environmental responsibility,” he said. 

“The idea of sustainability is not just a technical challenge, it assumes a certain worldview and a commitment to the growth of humanity. Managing an ethical business means looking beyond technical answers to include the environmental and social impacts of decisions,” said Nahser. He can be reached at RNAHSER@depaul.edu or 312-362-6438.

James Montgomery, associate professor, College of Science and Health. Montgomery, an expert in soil science, can discuss why sustainable management is important for businesses and the environment. “We live in a finite world. Resources that we have on Earth will eventually run out,” said Montgomery. “Companies are beginning to understand this. This really comes with respect to the supply chain. When you look at a company’s supply chain, if they’re not concerned about where their raw materials come from, then they’ve buried their head in the sand. Everything we use comes from a raw material. We can’t escape the fact that these resources are not infinite, he said.”

“The biggest issue that we’ll face in this country is water. You can see this in California and with the desert in the Southwest. We’re living in the Midwest around the Great Lakes, which constitute 20 percent of the world’s freshwater supply. We may be lulled into thinking we’ll never run out, but water-parched states have their eyes gazed toward the Great Lakes,” said Montgomery. “The idea here is companies that require a lot of water for processing, like mining coal and nuclear power plants, have to be concerned with conserving water.” Montgomery can be reached atjmontgom@depaul.edu or 773-325-2771.

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Media Contact:
Jon Cecero
jcecero@depaul.edu​
(312) 362-7640