The second annual Smeal Corporate Citizenship Conference, hosted by Net Impact, went off without a hitch on Tuesday March 22nd. The conference was aimed towards freshman and sophomore Smeal students and emphasized the importance of corporate citizenship and sustainability, while also allowing students to interact directly with the companies.
Starting off the conference was keynote speaker James Gowen, vice president of global supply chain operation and chief sustainability officer at Verizon. Gowen discussed how Verizon is diversifying as a company and evolving into new technology beyond wireless phones. At the same time, they are also focusing on being more sustainable through new practices such as EV charging stations offered at their offices to promote employees driving environmentally friendly electric cars.
Corporate sponsors of the event varied from financial giants such as Goldman Sachs and Vanguard, to the big four accounting firms, to automotive giant General Motors and bottled water company Nestlé Waters. All have the like minded goal of being able to promote sustainability in the workplace while still remaining a corporation whose goal is to make a profit.
Company representatives in attendance were impressed with how Net Impact and the Smeal College of Business, as a whole, place such an emphasis on sustainability.
“Penn State taking the time and effort [to promote sustainability] shows it is a priority,” Vanguard representative Kathryn, said. This marked an unequivocally successful conference which connected the next generation of business leaders with the intersection of integrity, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability.