Master's Project Symposium

Attention SNREds! 

It’s that time of the year; please join the greater SNRE community this Friday, December 7th as three Master’s Project teams present their final reports during the Master’s Project Symposium (1040 Dana).  This is truly an exciting event.  The students involved in these projects have spent countless hours on these intense, interdisciplinary projects, which are the cornerstone of the SNRE professional-school program. Brief descriptions of each of the three projects are below. 

Please support your SNRE peers at the Masters Project Symposium this Friday!


Global BrightLight Foundation Project (9:05-9:35 am)

Students: Adam Byrnes, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems 2014; Emilia Sibley, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems 2014; Sabrina Sullivan, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems 2014;  and Jimmy Ward, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems 2014

Faculty Advisors: Scott Noesen and Michael Gordon

Clients: Global BrightLight Foundation and Duke Energy


Brief Synopsis: Working collaboratively as a Masters Project team, the team provided valuable input to BrightLight on the development of their social enterprise model as a facilitator delivering solar power technologies to the base of the pyramid. Using five research phases – Market Assessment, Alternative Development, Targeted Business Plan, Growth Strategy, and Thought Leadership – the MS project team researched, crafted, and delivered a detailed analysis of the current field of bottom of the pyramid electrification organizations, a creative business model and a detailed business plan for the Foundation, in addition to having facilitated a strategic workshop to formalize the organization’s guiding principles and objectives.


Developing a Chemicals Management Strategy for REI’s Retail Operations(9:40-10:10 am)

Students: Mary Fritz, MBA/MS Conservation Ecology + Sustainable Systems 2013; Richard Grousset, MBA/MS Environmental Policy & Planning 2013; Raphael Meyer, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems 2013; Rachel Smeak, MBA/MS Conservation Ecology 2013; David Yang, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems 2013

Faculty Advisors: Andrew Hoffman and Stuart Batterman

Clients: Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)


Brief Synopsis: REI’s CSR framework involves seven environmental lenses: climate change, energy use, waste, water, chemicals, land use, and social impacts. REI currently measures, tracks, and systematically reduces its operations-level impacts related to: (1) energy use, (2) waste-to-landfill, and (3) tons of CO2E emissions. The SNRE master’s project team worked with REI’s CSR team to define a strategy to address chemicals impacts within operations, and implement a robust management and reduction plan. Project objectives included: (1) identify key chemicals impacts associated with REI’s operations; (2) develop a business case for adoption of a company-wide chemicals management strategy, to be presented to REI executives; (3) identify aspirational long-term reduction goals, and foundational interim milestones; (4) define a metric for chemicals impact reduction, if applicable; (5) prioritize organizational activities aimed at reducing chemicals management impacts; (6) identify potential organizational barriers to adoption of the chemicals lens and strategies to mitigate or overcome those barriers.

The team used a combination of primary and secondary company and academic research to develop a business case and feasible, effective chemicals management strategy.

Banorte/INB CSR Sustainability Strategy (11:20-11:30am)

Students: Jonathan Huynh, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems; Daniel Gonzalez-Kreisberg, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems; Lawrence Han, MBA/MS Environmental Policy; Javier Rivera, MBA/MS Sustainable Systems;

Faculty advisors: Scott Noesen, Marina Whitman

Clients: Banorte/InterNational Bank

Brief Synopsis: The goal of this project is to define a sustainability strategy for INB, a key component of integrating the INB into Banorte, leveraging as a key driver Banorte’s environmental and social governance expertise and ongoing success in its sustainability strategy in Mexico. The team focused on the communication strategy for already implemented sustainability strategies in Banorte. (i.e. How do we get the buy in of the initiatives that are already being implemented in Mexico?) Additionally, the team focused on external market opportunities (market analysis) for INB that align with the bank’s business strategy.