UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics has been awarded a $100,000 gift from VF Foundation to create a new virtual collaboratory for sustainable business practices. The gift will support the school’s new and ongoing efforts to educate students about this topic across disciplines through activities such as guest lectures, class projects, industry and community workshops, faculty research, and a sustainability symposium.
“Sustainability in business involves three core areas: environmental, social, and economic,” said Bryan School Dean McRae Banks. “For a business to build a lasting future, it needs to ensure that it considers its impact on the environment and on people – including employees, customers, and community members.”
Dr. Nancy Hodges, head of the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies, will lead the school’s participation in the collaboratory. According to Hodges, during the 2019-20 academic year the school will work to create opportunities for teaching, scholarship, and outreach that will serve to shape the Virtual Collaboratory. Funds will be used in support of classroom projects and activities that engage Bryan School students in exploring sustainable approaches to business. Support for research will offer faculty seed money to begin addressing critical sustainability issues and developing innovative approaches to sustainable business and industry practices. Events, including speakers, panels, and workshops, will serve to connect faculty and students in the Bryan School with the broader business community.
“As a purpose-led organization committed to leading the apparel industry toward a more sustainable future, VF is proud to partner with the Bryan School on the new Virtual Collaboratory,” said Luis Benitez, vice president of government affairs and global impact at VF. “This initiative represents a unique opportunity for students to engage directly with industry to explore how to advance the sustainability agenda while addressing a changing marketplace of evolving consumer preferences, shifting social pressures, and urgent environmental constraints. To deliver true value in today’s world, modern businesses need to connect purpose with performance, and we look forward to seeing how this new concept advances that goal.”
The VF Corporation and VF Foundation have been supporters and partners of the Bryan School for many years. They have provided funding for scholarships and fellowships, donated software to help students develop cutting-edge skills, and partnered for student consulting projects.