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Business and Sustainability
In Bard’s experiential NYCLab course, MBA students complete a yearlong professional consultancy in the first year of their business program. Over two semesters, MBA students work with corporate, governmental, and nonprofit organizations to solve sustainability-related business problems. Student teams are assigned clients based on the team members’ interests and skill-sets and are mentored by Laura Gitman, Vice President at BSR, a leading global organization that develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research and cross-sector collaboration.
Become an NYCLab Client
How does NYCLab work?
Working in teams, students engage in consultancies for businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. The course runs two full semesters, from August through May. Teams develop and negotiate project agreements with clients that define the scope of work, project deliverables, deadlines, and expectations for communication and information sharing.
Please click on the client's logo below to read the project description.
Select a name at the left to view that person's information.
Etsy operates marketplaces where millions of people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods. Etsy also offers a wide range of seller services and tools that help creative entrepreneurs start, grow and manage their businesses. The company's mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.
Alongside the Etsy Sustainability Commission, Bard MBA students will help assess advanced energy efficiency strategies for the company’s new, global headquarters based in Brooklyn. Students will analyze the impact of new energy efficiency measures as well as develop a strategy that leverages Etsy's unique internal culture to drive behavior change around energy use.
New York City operates the largest municipal fleet in the United States, over 29,000 vehicles including NYPD, FDNY and Sanitation. Led by the City's first Chief Fleet Officer, NYC Fleet directs efforts to improve fleet management citywide in areas of safety, sustainability, preparedness, and shared services.
In December 2015, Mayor de Blasio announced NYC Clean Fleet, a commitment to cut emissions from the City fleet in half by 2025 including establishing over 2,000 electric vehicles and transitioning away from the use of traditional diesel fuel. The student project will support the achievement of this commitment.
Green Eileen is EILEEN FISHER’s clothing take back program. EILEEN FISHER is committed to becoming 100% sustainable, and part of that commitment is taking our clothes back when customers are through with them. Green Eileen receives all customer donations and sorts them as ‘sellable’ and ‘unsellable’. The sellable items are resold through our Green Eileen boutiques and EILEEN FISHER Company Stores. The unsellable items are remade into new textiles for garments and home goods.
Bard MBA students will be creating a triple bottom-line business model for our Green Eileen program with a focus on developing profitability for remaking unsellable goods into new products.
Siemens Wind Power
Siemens Wind Power
is a wind turbine manufacturer based in Hamburg, Germany. The company has manufactured nearly 13,000 wind turbines around the globe with a total capacity of 21 GW help to provide the world with clean, renewable energy.
Bard MBA NYCLab students developed internal and external communications recommendations and strategies for the results and implications of recently completed product life cycle assessments (LCAs).
"Working with the Bard MBA students in the NYCLab course was a great experience. The students were deeply engaged in the project and motivated during the full time frame. They also carried themselves in the utmost professional manner (including information sensitivity), especially when dealing with some of our key customer accounts. The outcome of the project serves as good inspiration for the company, and the students provided relevant, contextual and tangible recommendations, some of which will be implemented in the near future. The final presentation was presented to, and highly received by, other functions (including senior managers) in addition to the client’s mentors. The students even provided a useful 1-year implementation plan with KPIs for clear project follow-up. We would highly recommend this and consider it a second time around!"—Siemens Wind Power
Pharmavite is a global leader and manufacturer of dietary supplements. Pharmavite produces and distributes more than 120 dietary supplement products in the U.S. and more than 100 internationally throughout Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, S. Korea and Iran. Pharmavite is pleased to offer quality products that deliver on their promises. The team will deliver decision-making tools in order to build a more sustainable supply chain.
ConEdison Solutions is a leading energy services company that provides competitive electricity and natural gas supply, renewable energy, sustainability services, cost-effective energy efficiency solutions, and energy performance contracting. The firm’s dedicated team of energy professionals delivers a broad range of energy solutions and services designed to help customers achieve their individual energy objectives.
HSBC, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, has a global commitment to renewable energy. The project team was asked to evaluate renewable energy options for critical US HSBC markets based on availability, cost effectiveness, reliability and climate impact. The team’s work laid the foundation to develop the bank’s US-based State Specific Renewable Energy Strategy
What I liked about the Bard MBA NYCLab team is their passion for sustainability and making a difference which you can see in their behavior and hear in their voices. My team’s drive to lead sustainable change and make a difference was matched by the students in the Bard MBA in Sustainability program and that is the kind of school we want to work with.
Global Head HTS Sustainability, HSBC Bank
JetBlue + The Ocean Foundation
JetBlue is "New York's Hometown Airline™" which carries more than 35 million customers a year to 96 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. JetBlue's mission is to inspire humanity – both in the air and on the ground. The company is committed to giving back in meaningful ways in the communities it serves and to inspire others to do the same.
Bard MBA students helped JetBlue further develop findings from
EcoEarnings: A Shore Thing
, a study linking revenue to the health of Caribbean ecosystems, through data analysis and communications recommendations.
"Bard NYCLab had a clear process through which students to engage with companies. Students minimized the time spent on logistics and maximized the time spent on consulting."
New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets
New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets
(NYSDAM) is the department of the New York state government that enforces laws relating to agriculture; horticulture; farm, fruit and dairy products; aquaculture; the production, processing, transportation, storage, marketing and distributing of food; and weights and measures.
Bard MBA students helped NYSDAM develop a strategy and metrics framework for business facilitation activities for growers and food processors through operational assessments and stakeholder engagement.
"Bard College's MBA program paired us with smart and hardworking students who assessed our Department's business development activities for the agriculture sector. Over the course of the school year, the students eagerly learned the ins and outs of our agency while researching the most effective marketing activities from 12 other state/provincial departments of agriculture. Their commitment to the task at hand, curiosity, and critical thinking led them to propose a set of best practices that will be a real value-add to the thinking behind our marketing strategies."—NYSDAM
Unilever produces consumer goods for more than 400 brands including Ben & Jerry’s, Lipton, Dove, and St. Ives. As part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, the company asked the Bard MBA team to identify cost-effective and regional renewable energy storage solutions. Tasks included research and recommendations for sustainable energy technologies as part of the product mix, cost analysis, and the development of business and supply chain models.
TransitCenter is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting the use of public transportation and other sustainable transportation alternatives in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, preserve the environment, and promote more livable communities. The Bard MBA team researched the sustainable transportation landscape and proposed strategies for TransitCenter to maximize its outreach efforts.
UBS is a global firm providing financial services to private, corporate, and institutional clients, operating in more than 50 countries. The Bard MBA team (1) assessed investment banking (IB) engagement strategies among financial institutions, (2) explored rationales for an environmental and social risk engagement strategy in an IB context, and (3) developed criteria and success factors for effective client engagement.
From a project manager perspective of the NCYLab at UBS I can only recommend embarking on a joint sustainability project. The project is an extremely interesting two-way learning experience: the students learn to understand the company's sustainability efforts and the company can learn new perspectives on their programs. The students UBS worked with were highly motivated, curious and well-prepared individuals who asked the right questions! The outcome of their research and interview project is considered very helpful.
Environmental and Social Risk Manager, UBS
Lockheed Martin is a research, design, development, manufacturing, and integration of advance technology systems company in the aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology sectors. The Bard MBA team analyzed the challenges and opportunities in the Socially Responsible Investing space, including insights into stakeholders as well as the criteria for, and impacts of, including or excluding important companies from the sustainability conversation. By focusing on Lockheed Martin’s sustainability assets, products, and services, the team helped to define the sustainability value proposition for stakeholders.
Hudson Solar is a New York–based business that designs and installs solar energy systems for residential, commercial, agriculture, and municipal nonprofit organizations. The Bard MBA team conducted market research to identify and analyze potential market segments for new photovoltaic technology solutions. Students identified key customer motivators as well as the needs and requirements for each segment, compared the economics, benefits, and capabilities of innovative new technologies, and made recommendations for marketing strategy.
Metropolitan Waterfont Alliance
Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) brings business and civic groups together to help transform New York and New Jersey’s waterways into accessible spaces for the public to enjoy, transportation, commerce, and environmental protection. The Bard MBA team worked with MWA to develop sustainable policy platforms, waterfront sustainability benchmarking reports, and sustainability financing strategies for the organization.
COOKFOX Architects and Terrapin Bright Green are architectural and environmental consulting firms, respectively, based in New York City. The Bard MBA team helped the companies evaluate their own sustainability. Activities included cost-benefit analysis, developing a timeline and strategy for improving sustainability, and creating a system to track and report internal progress.
Community Development International (CDi)
CDi is a development-focused nonprofit organization aiming to create strong, healthy, and collaborative urban and rural communities through holistically designed programs for a more prosperous, harmonious, and equitable global future. The Bard MBA team conducted a market analysis for organic biomass briquettes including identifying a potential customer base for organic artisanal biochar briquettes, analyzing comparable products and markets, and targeting top prospective buyers.
"Working with the NYCLab Team at Bard was a highly productive and inspirational experience. The students' dedication, diligence and new ideas provided added benefit beyond the product they ultimately delivered. Thanks to their hard work and holistic approach we have a blueprint for marketing and promotion of a social benefit product that we will seek to implement as soon as possible." Matthias Resch, Founding Director CDi
Inward Point is a startup leveraging social and environmental sustainability to revolutionize the event industry. The project team developed a business plan to enable Inward Point to grow and scale their business. The team learned about entrepreneurship and small business development, while supporting a new business model focused on smart, sustainable outcomes.
The Bard team started as a small group of bright students but became an integral part of how we grew our startup quickly and successfully. We're big fans of the Bard MBA program.
Founder, Inward Point