Environmental Trade-Offs in Commodity Production

Start Date: 
Jan 1, 2013
End Date: 
Apr 30, 2014
Collaborator: 
World Wildlife Fund
Summary: 

The World Wildlife Fund's Market Transformation Initiative aims to reduce the environmental impact of global commodity production through partnership with major companies and their supply networks.  The project consists of researching over 15 priority commodities to compare the "footprint" or impact results of these commodities from various sources. Through deep engagement with the commodity leads and other experts within the network, the project will identify the key factors in production methods and potential trade-offs among methods. The final deliverable will be an internal paper and annotated spreadsheet reporting on various metrics at production, cradle to gate and full life cycle, which will inform the future strategy of the Market Initiative.

Students will have the opportunity to work at the cutting edge of corporate & non-profit partnerships - a model that is increasingly prevalent. This project will give students an idea of how such partnerships can work to reduce the environmental impact of business operations. This work will develop key skills for students, including:

    primary source research skills including interviewing and analyzing original documents
    familiarity with commodities market structures
    experience in life cycle analysis
    non-profit strategy

There will be opportunities to network with:

    many members of the WWF in varying departments and capacities
    experts in commodities markets and agriculture
    (potentially) WWF partner corporations

Master Students Involved in Project:

    Jen Bowe, MS Behavior, Education and Communication
    Kenny Fahey, MBA/MS Environmental Policy and Planning
    Mallory McLaughlin, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems
    Julia Ruedig, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems
    Sheena VanLeuven, MBA/MS Environmental Policy and Planning
    Jay Wolfgram, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems

Keyword: 
SNRE Master Project