Carnegie Mellon University
June 02, 2023

Grant From BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania Will Support Tepper School Scholarship and Research in Sustainability

While sustainable business strategies are critical to addressing global challenges in climate change, natural resources, and human health, they can also create value for shareholders. In recent years, investing according to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria has increased substantially. Ongoing data analysis that informs responsible decision making—in both investors and citizens—is necessary.

Recognizing the need to quantify pollution damage in the U.S. economy, Nicholas Muller, the Lester and Judith Lave Professor of Economics, Engineering, and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, launched a novel ESG Index in 2022. As the key achievement of the Tepper School of Business’ Sustainability Initiative, the tool serves as a credible, reliable source for accurate data on national trends in monetary damage from pollution.

To strengthen these efforts, BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania has awarded the Tepper School a grant to support students investigating the intersection of sustainability and business. These undergraduate and graduate students will pursue research and experiential learning opportunities under Muller’s mentorship.

Student Engagement in Sustainability

The research assistants will strive to gather and analyze data to develop an updated ESG Index, enhancing its role as a publicly available educational tool. In addition, doctoral students in accounting will explore the determinants of firm disclosure of ESG-relevant data and the repercussions of such disclosure.

Continued research on ESG-related topics will bolster the school’s curriculum and content offerings in sustainability. For example, the ESG Index is incorporated into classes on sustainability for students in the undergraduate economics and MBA degree programs. ESG topics are also featured in the Technology, Sustainability, and Business Forum—the Initiative’s signature annual event—which reaches the Carnegie Mellon community, a broader corporate audience, and the public.

“Our students are passionate about working across disciplines to address global challenges in climate change, pollution, and environmental justice,” said Isabelle Bajeux-Besnainou, Dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. “The Foundation’s support will enrich the educational and research experiences of our students as they prepare to become the leaders in The Intelligent Future.” 

The Tepper School’s Sustainability Initiative recognizes the increasing student demand for sustainability studies and the existing expertise among faculty across Carnegie Mellon.