Erb Institute and World Environment Center Partner to Create Student Opportunities in Sustainable Development

Nov 1, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Press Release

WASHINGTON, November 1, 2012 /3BL Media/ - The Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan (Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources and Environment) and the World Environment Center (WEC) today announced a partnership to directly engage MBA/MS students in planning and implementing sustainable development initiatives with leading global companies. 

The program, known as the “Erb-WEC Fellows,” will be supported by IBM as part of its long-term commitment to environmental sustainability and developing next-generation skills for the 21st century workforce.

The Erb Institute-WEC partnership will provide cross-disciplinary curriculum and training for eight graduate student fellows during 2013.  Erb-WEC Fellows will take an active role in WEC’s Roundtables by identifying potential speakers; synthesizing research; participating as speakers; preparing course materials and communications to the professional sustainability community; and developing articles, blogs and social media communications on Roundtable results. Students chosen to participate will then prepare research papers suitable for publication.

The partnership strengthens the University of Michigan’s leadership role in the advancement of sustainability concepts and practices for future graduates. WEC will provide students direct access to senior level sustainability executives of global companies in its membership and beyond, and students will obtain original information on how companies evaluate and apply sustainability-related data and formulate decision making options.

“Education in business and sustainability must transcend the classroom to include engagement with business professionals who are on the cutting edge of the issue. This initiative represents the spirit of that goal with real action learning opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Andrew J. Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise and Erb Institute Director. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the collaboration among Erb, WEC and IBM.”  

Dr. Terry F. Yosie, WEC’s President & CEO, added: “WEC’s new collaboration with IBM and The Erb Institute will lend significant and practical experience to MBA/MS students seeking careers in advancing sustainable development. The partnership adds an additional dimension to WEC’s expanding portfolio of initiatives to improve the teaching of sustainability in leading educational institutions together with global companies whose leaders require in-depth understanding of this subject matter to successfully address challenges to their business and society.”

For more information about the collaboration, go to IBM’s blog, A Smarter Planet.

For more information, please contact:

Rick Bunch, Managing Director, Erb Institute at 734-647-6607 or

Casey Troy, Sustainability Program Manager, WEC at 202-312-1211, or

About The Erb Institute:  The Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, a partnership between the Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources and Environment, is committed to creating a socially and environmentally sustainable society through the power of business.  Building on nearly two decades of research, teaching, and direct engagement, the Institute has become one of the world’s leading sources of innovative knowledge on the culture, technologies, operations and governance of business in a changing world.  The Institute’s impact is realized most powerfully through our vibrant global network of students and alumni who are the transformative change agents in business, government and the non-profit worlds.  For more information, please go to

About the World Environment Center:  WEC is an independent, non-profit global non-governmental organization whose mission is to advance sustainable development in the strategies and operations of global companies.  It focuses on the development of business solutions to major sustainability challenges to companies and civil society through the development of thought leadership across a number of issues; implementation of on-the-ground capacity building projects that apply knowledge to create economic opportunities and strengthen business performance; and recognition of business excellence through its Gold Medal Award in International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development.  For more information, please go to