Wharton School Announces Wharton/Bank of America Global Environmental Leadership Speaker Series

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce a partnership with Bank of America to establish the Wharton/Bank of America Global Environmental Leadership Speaker Series. Hosted by the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership, the Speaker Series will feature a prominent global environmental leader as the keynote speaker during the annual event held in coordination with Wharton’s Global Alumni Forums, as well as several smaller, more focused companion speaker events on Wharton’s Philadelphia campus and other locations each year.

Dedicated to raising the public’s awareness of pressing business-and-environment issues, the Wharton/Bank of America Global Environmental Leadership Speaker Series will present high-profile individuals addressing issues of international concern. Throughout the Series, leaders spanning such diverse fields as business, academia, nonprofits, and government will share their perspectives on the latest ideas in business sustainability, including sustainable financial investment strategies, sustainable real estate development and the new energy economy. The first event will be held at the 2011 Wharton Global Alumni Forum, in conjunction with the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Wharton | San Francisco campus, with a panel discussion focusing on venture capital and sustainability on June 24, 2011 at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.

For more information on the Wharton Global Alumni Forum, please visit: http://www.whartonsanfrancisco11.com/sanfrancisco11/default.aspx

Established under leadership from the Wharton School, and with the participation of faculty in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Design, Engineering and Applied Science, Law, Medicine, and Veterinary Medicine, the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) addresses the increasingly crucial issues that arise at the intersection of the natural environment, business, and government. Unique in its business-oriented perspective, IGEL brings together faculty from across the University with other experts, business leaders, and government and non-governmental organization representatives to study and promote practical solutions to some of the most critical long-term environmental challenges facing humanity today.

Guardsmark Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and IGEL Faculty Director Eric Orts said, “IGEL’s vision is to become the preeminent institutional and educational catalyst for the adaptation of business policies and practices that will transform the world toward sustainability. The Wharton/Bank of America Speaker Series will be an integral part of our mission and will have an impact far beyond Penn’s campus.”

Bank of America’s Global Environmental Executive, Alex Liftman, said, “As one of the world’s largest financial institutions, Bank of America has a significant role to play in helping businesses and thought leaders address the challenge of climate change. Wharton and Bank of America’s partnership on the Global Environmental Leadership Speaker Series is a natural extension of our mutual goals to explore the risks, as well as the opportunities, presented by climate change and advancing sustainable business practices across a wide array of industries.”

Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson said, “Green corporate strategies are powerful tools for businesses seeking to create both economic and social value. Wharton and Penn are committed to enhancing sustainability efforts and creating a ‘green’ environment across campus. We are thus deeply grateful for Bank of America’s gift and applaud their leadership in the movement toward sustainability.”

About the Wharton School

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania— founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has more than 4,800 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 86,000 graduates.

About Bank of America’s Environmental Commitment

Understanding the important role it plays in helping clients and communities address climate change, Bank of America continues to establish itself as an environmental leader in the financial services sector. In 2007, Bank of America embarked on a 10-year, $20 billion business initiative to address climate change through lending, investments, capital markets activity, philanthropy, and its own operations. Delivering $12.6 billion in four years to hundreds of clients in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and markets across Asia, Europe and Latin America, Bank of America is focused on reducing its environmental footprint while aligning its global financial products and services to help advance energy efficiency and low-carbon energy markets, including wind, solar, biomass and other emerging technologies. For more information about Bank of America’s environmental commitment, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/environment.