College Students and GM Unite to Boost Sustainability

College Students and GM Unite to Boost Sustainability

General Motors created its first Student Sustainability Advisory Council this year to begin a new dialogue on sustainability. Composed of five graduate students from MIT, Penn State, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan and Stanford, the council provides fresh perspectives on sustainability at GM.

The company convenes formal stakeholder dialogues through Ceres and informally through various other sustainability networks. This initiative, however, offers students the opportunity to take a step inside the company and lend their unique insights into our sustainability strategy and priorities. The students come from diverse backgrounds, but they all share an interest in the subject.

Jess Newman, a student pursuing both an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, is part of the program. She said she’s pursuing a dual degree because she wants to be an environmental problem solver conversant in both the public and private sectors.

“My career is focused on the nexus of business and sustainability, and I’m excited about the opportunity to have a real impact on a company’s strategy through the GM Student Sustainability Advisory Council,” said Newman, who is also pursuing a Sustainability Certificate as part of her MBA program at Sloan.

She said that GM’s sustainability work is innovation at the intersection of the public private and nonprofit sectors.

“This is exactly the kind of work I want to do in my career,” said Newman. “I am delighted that GM wants student input on sustainability, and impressed with the company’s holistic systems approach, global progress to date, and incorporation of sustainability goals into things like employee compensation.”

So what does it mean to be a student advisor for GM?