Learn more about becoming a member of the Center for the Business of Sustainability

The Center for the Business of Sustainability’s mission is to accelerate the integration of sustainability in business. We provide research and education services for our members that help them integrate sustainability across their enterprise.

Integrating sustainability effectively requires that a company understands the relevant social and ecological issues, identifies and monitors how these issues produce risks and opportunities across the enterprise, and creates a business case and strategy for change.

CONTACT US ABOUT MEMBERSHIP by calling 814-863-1341 or via email at

Companies join the Center because they are interested in integrating sustainability and to support our work to advance these goals among business schools. Specifically, companies become members to:

  • Advance the Mission – Our aim is to transform business practice and education. We are looking for partners to support and inform this urgent mission to serve hundreds of existing companies and thousands of future business leaders.
  • Gain New Insights – We are educators and researchers, not consultants. The Center serves as a neutral convener and our value is in our expertise as educators and objectivity as researchers which translate into accelerated learning and fresh perspectives.
  • Learn from Peers and Industry Leaders - We convene leaders and academics from across industries in unique events that inspire, accelerate learning, and are focused 100% on results
  • Access Talent – We provide unique access to top notch student talent from the business school and partnership colleges and research centers

Current Members

IBM Logo.

Verizon Logo

Member FAQs

What do we mean by business sustainability?

Business sustainability is the way companies manage financial, social and environmental risks, and opportunities to ensure resiliency over time. Markets, communities, and businesses thrive because they are intimately connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems.

How will I be able to interact with students?

You can interact with students in a number of ways. Directly interact with tomorrow’s business leaders; reach not only students who want to make sustainability their life’s work, but also students who want to understand how it will affect their careers in Management, Supply Chain, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Corporate Innovation, Risk Management, and Actuarial Science.

Interactions with students take place through center events, members speaking on campus, career fairs and much more.

How will I be able to engage with professors and researchers?

At Smeal, academics value hands-on interaction with practitioners in order to ensure their teaching and research prepares students for what they will encounter after graduation. You can access a broad spectrum of world class researchers who can supplement not only your bandwidth but also your perspective while examining a strategic/tactical business challenge involving sustainability in depth.

How will I interact with other companies and partners such as large corporations, small & medium enterprises, and entrepreneurs.

There exists some membership organizations through which large corporations can meet with each other to discuss sustainability. Many are industry-specific while others are cross-industry. There are fewer such venues for small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. There are even fewer which involve all three. The Center integrates all of these organizations while also bringing on board what’s been missing: tomorrow’s employees and those who are teaching them. 

You will learn from business leaders who are advancing the sustainability journey as well as speak with other firms that are at the same point on the journey to discuss challenges and collaborate on solutions.

How will this help my company innovate?

Research-based universities are all about innovation. So is business. The Center will regularly bring events to its members which showcase leading edge ideas and tools across industry sectors and how they relate to sustainability.

Penn State has over 500 researchers focused on different aspects of sustainability. Smeal has 30 faculty doing research in sustainability. Together these create an unprecedented innovation ecosystem that you can be a part of through becoming a member.

Learn what your peers are exploring and why. Bring academic researchers into the discussion to help accelerate innovation. 

What educational opportunities exist for members?

We hold an annual member conference featuring member-driven content and presentations, workshops, design thinking engagements and space for impromptu small group meetings. During the year we coordinate workshops on strategic topics wherein members learn not just from one another but from experts in the field including researchers, practitioners, and leaders from nonprofits and government.

We also work with member companies and our Penn State Executive Education partners to develop customized educational programs, in person or online. Executive Education also has open enrollment programs which members can access at a discount.