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Sustainability

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As long-standing leaders in sustainability, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise are proud to host the University of North Carolina Sustainability Awards. These awards recognize the leadership of North Carolina Business in protecting and promoting the state’s natural resources.

Many Americans expect newly inaugurated President Joe Biden to achieve progress in improving the quality of the environment. In this Kenan Insight, we explain why we support these expectations, examining what Biden has already done in his brief tenure, the feasibility of the plans he’s outlined thus far, and whether (and how) he can propel the U.S. to a leadership role in sustainability.

Please join us for an exclusive conversation with Harvey Gantt, architect, politician and former mayor of Charlotte, on Thursday, Oct. 29. This virtual experience is part of the Dean’s Speaker Series, hosted by Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford.

In this virtual fireside chat, Kenan Institute Senior Fellow Mary Moore Hamrick, CEO of Political Quotient Advisors, will explore the political landscape ahead of the historic 2020 U.S. presidential election.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Kenan Institute hosted a virtual fireside chat with Senior Fellow and Political Quotient Advisors CEO Mary Moore Hamrick. In discussion with Director of External Affairs MacKenzie Babb, Hamrick talked through the current political landscape just one week before the historic 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Historically, most businesses have attempted to stay on the sidelines of controversial issues to avoid alienating customers and limit internal discord. But the COVID-19 pandemic (which has disproportionately affected people of color) and rising racial tensions have increased awareness of systemic racism in the U.S. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how business leaders are increasingly taking a stance on diversity and inclusion issues through both internally and externally focused actions and policies.

The economy continues to rank as voters’ top issue leading up to the historic 2020 U.S. presidential election – coming as no surprise given the ongoing recession and unprecedented economic turmoil driven by COVID-19. But as we begin to see some indicators rebound and others stagnate, what is the true state of the economy – and what should our elected officials and other leaders be doing to improve it?

Join leaders from the Kenan Institute and its affiliated centers for two virtual information sessions. UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School undergraduate and MBA students will have the opportunity to connect with center leadership and learn about ways to get involved with the institute's work.

The Center for Sustainable Enterprise strives to empower business leaders in their quest for shareholder value as they exercise environmental stewardship and promote economic development and growth.

Major strides have been taken in recent years to push toward more sustainable investing practices, yet it remains to be seen if such initiatives are actually meeting their goals. In this Kenan Insight, we look at the challenges of both implementing and measuring the effectiveness of social entrepreneurship and impact investing.

Despite extensive empirical evidence of the economic and financial benefits of green buildings, energy retrofit investments in existing buildings have not reached widespread adoption.This paper empirically estimate returns to energy retrofit investments for multifamily and commercial buildings in New York City, using a novel database of actual audit report recommendations and permitted renovation work extracted using natural language processing.

The Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise hosted a candid discussion regarding the effects of COVID-19 on universities and what a return to campus might look like, including the inevitable complications. Experts addressed special research findings from two surveys of university presidents, the quantification of potential financial impact of COVID-19 on higher ed and presented scenarios and related strategic options. This webinar featured UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor & Co-founder of ABC Insights Paul Friga, Ph.D., Chronicle of Higher Education Senior Writer Scott Carlson, Association of American Colleges & Universities President Lynn Pasquarella, Ph.D. and rpk GROUP Founder & Senior Partner Rick Staisloff.

Our Sustainability Experts

Olga Hawn

Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Sustainability Distinguished Fellow and Faculty Director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise

Jeff Mittelstadt

Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise
Professor of the Practice, Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Centers & Initiatives

Center for Sustainable Enterprise

Driving responsible thought leadership and inspired action to accelerate progress in social and environmental sustainability through innovative and profitable business solutions.