ESG Conference

ESG Conference

RCB conference attendees weigh 21st century opportunities and challenges

President Houshmand opens the conferenceThe science behind climate change.

Health care and the outlook for Covid.

Corporate governance and investing.

The Rohrer College of Business convened a conference Oct. 14 to address a wide range of issues related to health care, the environment, corporate governance and investing amid staggering 21st century uncertainties.

Dubbed the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Conference, the daylong program in Business Hall was one in a series of events the college is hosting this year as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Among issues considered at the conference: the ongoing and increasing threat of climate change and its effect on business, investing and insurance; the imperative to address climate change now; and the persistent, if sometimes ignored, lingering danger of Covid.

Some of the roughly two dozen speakers scheduled throughout the day included Jordan Howell, associateConference participants professor of Sustainable Business at Rowan; Bob Bunting of the Climate Adaptation Center in Sarasota, Fla.; Annette Reboli, dean of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; and Ken Lacovara, dean of the School of Earth & Environment at Rowan.

Bunting, a longtime Florida resident and climate researcher, said humanity has maybe 30 years to resolve the threat of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or it faces a bleak future.

At this stage, he said, “sea level will (continue to) rise for 200 to 300 years even if we don’t put another carbon molecule into the atmosphere.”

RCB Dean Susan Lehrman said the conference themes mirror those that the college is exploring in a seriesDean Lehrman of events throughout its 50th year including sustainability, social responsibility, business ethics and climate change.

“With this (first major) event, we wanted to show how important these topics are to our mission,” Lehrman said.

She said the program developed in partnership with the Center for Responsible Leadership and the Global Interdependence Center in Philadelphia, where Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand is a board member.

Lehrman said the focus at Rowan on sustainability, social responsibility and protecting the environment has been led by Houshmand, including a university-wide initiative to hire faculty members to develop, advance and communicate solutions to the most pressing existential threats posed by the climate and biodiversity crises.

“The topics under discussion today are important, not just in the College of Business but across campus” and beyond, Lehrman said.