Frequently Asked Questions

Sponsor 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, sponsors 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 sponsors 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 sponsor.

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

What educational opportunities exist for sponsors?

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 sponsors 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 sponsors can access at a discount.