New Duke Center to Help Businesses Transition to Sustainable Global Economy

September 12, 2010

New Center Will Address Key Challenges Facing Leaders

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University's Fuqua School of Business has launched the Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment (EDGE) with an aim toward preparing businesses to meet the global demand for energy, resources, and improved quality of life.

EDGE, an educational, research, and outreach initiative, will focus on key challenges facing business leaders, such as:

  • How do we meet the global demand for energy and other resources in a sustainable way?
  • What are the most promising ways to transform our current industrial systems to achieve this goal?
  • What role can leading firms play in creating these transformations across value chains?
  • What partnerships are needed to help facilitate these changes?

Fuqua Professor Rick Larrick will serve as the center's faculty director and Daniel Vermeer will be executive director of EDGE.

"Business sustainability has evolved from a regulatory or ethical concern to a central strategic priority for many firms," Vermeer said. "The risks associated with environmental and social issues are increasingly material, but so are the opportunities to capture savings, drive innovation and create new markets by taking sustainability seriously."

As part of EDGE's launch, the center will co-host an event in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund called "Capturing the Energy Efficiency Opportunity" on Sept. 17 at Fuqua. This gathering will bring together 60 MBA students from leading U.S. universities and representatives from 30 companies to develop strategies for pursuing profitable opportunities to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. Michael W. Lamach, CEO of Ingersoll Rand, and Peter Senge, director of the Center for Organizational Learning at MIT's Sloan School of Management, will be keynote speakers at the event.

EDGE also will host a number of events throughout the year focusing on energy, environment, and corporate sustainability, including a graduate seminar series and an executive forum on "Energy for Tomorrow" in collaboration with TIME/Fortune, Shell, and industry leaders.

For more information, visit EDGE's website at

This story may not be republished without permission from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Please contact for additional information.

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