DAVIDSON, NC (INGERSOLL RAND NEWS SERVICE) -- High school students
from five counties in the Charlotte, NC, area participated in this
year’s Ingersoll Rand Sustainability Institute, which took place July
12-16 in nearby Davidson. In its second year, the Sustainability
Institute is an interactive program designed to teach students
entering their senior year how businesses balance the demands of
economic, environmental and social performance drivers, known as the
“triple bottom line.”
The Sustainability Institute emphasizes leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, effective communication and independent research through roundtable discussions, group projects and field trips. Students stayed in chaperoned dormitories at Davidson College. During the weeklong program, participants toured a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified facility featuring a rooftop photovoltaic system and benefited from a learning session with Burt’s Bees’ Steve Walker, manager of environmental sustainability.
“Everybody here is excited about sustainability,” said participant James East, a student at Forestview High School in Gaston County. East plans to share what he has learned at the Sustainability Institute with his school’s Environmental Club. Based on his experience, he will encourage follow students and school officials to transform the wooded area behind the school into an educational nature trail.
Tuition, room, board and transportation to and from activities were provided free of charge to participants. Holly Emerson, senior analyst for Ingersoll Rand’s Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, managed the program for the second year. “The Sustainability Institute has a profound impact on our community,” said Emerson. “We are teaching future leaders how business is embracing and benefiting from sustainability efforts. And, getting students interested in the sciences and engineering is critical for the future success of businesses such as Ingersoll Rand. The institute is an important component of our company’s sustainability goals.”