Monday, September 30, 2013

BrownFlynn GRI Conference.

On September 23rd and 24th Robert Morris University hosted a conference to allow individuals in the business community to gain G3, G3.1, and the recently released G4 certification for the Global Reporting Initiative's sustainability reporting standards. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a non-profit organization that promotes economic, environmental and social sustainability. GRI provides all companies and organizations with a comprehensive sustainability reporting framework that is widely used around the world.
Individuals from all over Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania attended this conference presented by BrownFlynn to not only gain the certifications, but to help their companies build a better sustainability report and appear more transparent. Also in attendance were faculty and students, the training not only allowed the students to get the GRI certifications, but also gave them the framework needed to help think about sustainability, and corporate/social responsibility more in depth.
Over 5,000 companies from many fields have generated 14,000+ GRI reports, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years. The aim of the GRI Guidelines is to assist reporting organisations and their stakeholders in articulating and understanding contributions of the organisation to sustainable development through their reports. According GRI the latest G4 standards are supposed to:
  • Offer guidance in a user-friendly way, so that new reporters can easily understand and use the Guidelines.
  • Improve the technical quality of the Guidelines’ content in order to eliminate ambiguities and differing interpretations – for the benefit of reporters and information users alike.
  • Harmonize as much as possible with other internationally accepted standards.
  • Improve guidance on identifying ‘material’ issues – from different stakeholders’ perspectives – to be included in sustainability reports.
  • Offer guidance on how to link the sustainability reporting process to the preparation of an Integrated Report aligned with the guidance to be developed by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).
According to the GRI sustainability reporting is, "...the capacity to endure, or be maintained – is based on performance in these four key areas.
An increasing number of companies and organizations want to make their operations sustainable. Establishing a sustainability reporting process helps them to set goals, measure performance, and manage change. A sustainability report is the key platform for communicating positive and negative sustainability impacts.
To produce a regular sustainability report, organizations set up a reporting cycle – a program of data collection, communication, and responses. This means that their sustainability performance is monitored on an ongoing basis. Data can be provided regularly to senior decision makers to shape company strategy and policy, and improve performance.
Sustainability reporting is therefore a vital step for managing change towards a sustainable global economy – one that combines long term profitability with social justice and environmental care."
As more and more companies compile these reports, they can see where they can better focus their energies and possibly get a competitive advantage over their rivals. Being sustainable is much more than an environmental way of thinking, it encompasses many more facets of the organization as whole to be more responsible to their stakeholders as a whole.
If you or your organization is interested in GRI certified training, please contact BrownFlynn or sign up to attend the following events:
Post by Ian Munroe

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thinking Green.

Pittsburgh Magazine in its latest issue has an article titled, "Thinking Green" in which they discuss how various universities in the area, including RMU, are embracing the idea of sustainability.
The idea behind sustainability is that it is a long term approach to environmental protection and process improvements, preventing pollution from the start and acknowledge the various connections between the economy, environment, corporate, social and government responsibility.
The article talks at length about the various avenues several universities have done to embrace sustainability, including University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, Duquesne University, Penn State and Robert Morris University. Some of these projects include campus wide emissions control devices, LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified buildings, cutting various types of waste, to offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in various areas of Environmental Science and Sustainability.
RMU's own Dr. Marcel Minutolo was interviewed for this article and he had this to say, “Think what you want about Walmart, but [it’s] a leader in sustainable practices. [Company leaders] don’t do it because they love the Earth. There are dollars involved. Sustainability makes sense, whether you love the Earth, love people or love money.”
If you are curious about what else Dr. Minutolo had to say about sustainability in and around RMU and the community at large, please read the article.

Robert Morris University takes the idea of sustainability seriously, and RMU actively promotes social responsible and environmentally sustainable practices. The Sustainability Committee have implemented some major initiatives around campus, and they include:

  • Adoption of a single-stream recycling program. Click here for a list of recycling locations on campus.
  • Elimination of disposable styrofoam to-go containers from the Food Court. The Food Court now offers reusable to-go containers that can be returned to the Food Court after use.
  • Installation of energy efficient hand driers in restrooms.
  • Expanded course offerings, including a major in environmental science, a minor in alternative energy and sustainability, and courses in sustainable marketing and management.
  • Adoption of LEED design standards for new building construction and major renovations.
  • A vendor certification program which will allow the university to reduce paperwork generated by vendor invoices and payments.
  • A utility demand response program.
This is just the start for RMU and their sustainable practices, and the university still has a lot to accomplish. There is still plenty of room available in the Sustainable Enterprises conference and the Global Reporting Initiative conference hosted right here at RMU. If you would like to attend, please take the time to sign up here. If you have any questions about either or both of the conferences, please email Dr. Marcel Minutolo or Dr. Steven Clinton.

Post by Ian Munroe

Thursday, September 5, 2013

5th Annual Sustainable Enterprises of the Future Conference

The Sustainable Enterprises of the Future is pleased to announce its 5th annual conference which will be held on September 26-27, 2013 in Moon Township,Pennsylvania. The conference will bring scholars and practitioners interested in Sustainable Enterprises’ role in the creation (destruction) of social profit (Sπ) together.

If organizations exist to coordinate the resources and capabilities of society, then those that perform better than average create greater gains for society than others. This is not to say that the ‘other’ organizations failed to create value but if the market were to allocate the underachieving organizations’ resources to those that performed greater then society would have, presumably, witnessed greater impact. This will be demonstrated differently depending on the domain:

1. FOR PROFIT – while it is easiest to conceptualize the premise in the for-profit model where the total economic gain might be the measure of relative social performance (i.e. Friedman’s“the business of business is business”) it is generally accepted that current reporting, quantification, models are insufficient and fail to consider social ‘good’.

2. NOT-FOR-PROFITS – while some may claim that nonprofits are net-zero organizations, they still contribute to society. Where in the for-profit model, the market might rely on some performance measure to evaluate relative performance / social gain, it is much more difficult to do this within the nonprofit arena.

3. STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – National and corporate investment through research and development, education, and policies constitutes a significant social investment of resources and capabilities. Improvements in quality of life, reduction in consumption / use of natural and human resources, changes in yield and defect rates, and other output measures all demonstrate gains (losses) to society.

In line with the conference theme, the President, Co-Chairs, and governance board invites papers and symposia in all areas concerned with S(π). All manuscripts and symposia suggestions will be double-blind reviewed.

Please visit the Sustainable Enterprises of the Future’s website,, for program outline, conference registration fees, tracks, travel information, hotel accommodation, and other information.

If you have any questions, you may contact:
Dr. Patrick Litzinger, Robert Morris University,

Dr. Steven Clinton, Robert Morris University,

Dr. Marcel C. Minutolo, Robert Morris University,

Post by Ian Munroe

Global Reporting Initiative Certified Training by Robert Morris University

Robert Morris University’s School of Business, in conjunction with BrownFlynn is offering a two-day GRI certified training workshop on September 23rd and 24th, 2013. As the first U.S.-certified training partner for the GRI, BrownFlynn is dedicated to educating clients on utilizing the GRI's framework for sustainability reporting and as a management process to achieve bottom-line impact.

BrownFlynn’s GRI-certified course, The GRI Process, is a 16-hour course that teaches organizations how to:
• Focus its efforts in sustainability management.
• Leverage the GRI framework beyond producing a report.
• Utilize GRI tools to determine report topic and subsequent data.
• Identify requirements for a GRI report at different application levels.
• Benefit from increased transparency.

Participants who attend The GRI Process receive:
• Executive’s Cheat Sheet.
• 2-page high-level overview of key GRI concepts and decision points.
• The BrownFlynn Bookmarks – G4.
• Bookmarked consolidation of GRI’s reporting guidance and guidelines in one place, highlighted for ease in finding key elements and the requirements for each of the application levels.
• GRI certificate of completion.

The workshop will take place at Robert Morris University in the Sewall Conference Room, starting at 8am and lasting till 5pm for both days. Those interested in attending the conference should look on the Robert Morris website, here. The registration fee for non-student attendees is $995 and the fee for student attendees is $495. Please register as soon as you can as seats are filling up!

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Dr. Marcel Minutolo, or Dr. Steven Clinton.

SBUS Social Media Contact Information!

There is now an email address available for you to send information to be put in social media posts. Listed below is the email address along with what social media correspondents will be available at certain times.


Kristen Koscinski: M-F Mornings
Ian Munroe: T/R
Austin Brown: Fridays

Post Written by Kristen Koscinski

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome to the RMU School of Business Management Department Blog!

Hello everyone, I would like to welcome you to the Robert Morris University School of Business Management Department Blog. The intention behind this is to help inform current students, prospective students, alumni and employers see what is happening in the Management section of the School of Business.
We have a lot of things planned for the 2013-2014 school year, and we plan to keep you informed as best as we can. If you have not already, please follow us on the following social media websites:
All of the information posted here will be cross-posted to those accounts to help us ensure all the information we have to give, gets out into the world.

If you have any questions, concerns, story ideas or if your alumni wanting to get some information out to the public, please email us at We are always open to new ideas and to help out Robert Morris alum!

Posted by Ian Munroe