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Mills College Debuts First Conference on Socially Responsible Business Models

Oakland, CA—March 11, 2009. The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College and its Center for Socially Responsible Business are hosting their first annual conference on Friday, April 10, 2009.

Entitled "It Pays to be Nice: Economic Models to Encourage Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility," the conference brings together leaders who have engaged in socially and environmentally responsible business practices.

"We hope that business and nonprofit leaders can join scholars, policymakers, and students to explore incentive-based approaches that will encourage business to do good for communities and the environment," said Nancy Thornborrow, dean of the Business School.

"Businesses can and do provide economic incentives for such things as recycling, reducing energy use, and employee volunteerism, to encourage socially responsible behavior," said the center's director Philip Gordon. "Such incentives can be used in a similar manner to encourage companies to develop sustainable practices while providing economic value. These approaches have been applied curb overfishing, reduce waste generation, and most recently, reduce carbon emissions."

Featured speakers include Julie Trell, from the Salesforce.com Foundation, whose innovative 1/1/1 model of philanthropy allows one percent of the company's equity to be allocated to needy projects, one percent of the company's products to be donated, and one percent of its employees' time to be devoted to volunteerism; and Katie Arkema of the Natural Capital Project, who will speak about overcoming the lack of economic support to protect nature.

Other speakers include:
Ophelia Basgal, who leads Pacific Gas and Electric Company's $18.7 million charitable contributions program and will speak about her company's model for social responsibility;

Debora Bonner of Environmental Resources Management who will speak about the risks and opportunities of economic incentives for business and the environment;

Forrest Hill of Harrington Investments who will speak about how socially responsible investing can encourage socially responsible behavior; and

Stephen Bushnell of the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company will speak about how innovative insurance products can encourage responsible environmental behavior.

The free, all-day conference will be held from 8:45 am to 5:00 pm at the Mills College Student Union. Lunch is included. All members of the public are invited. The number of registrants is limited, and pre-registration is required at www.acteva.com/go/csrb. For more information, go to www.mills.edu/csrb/conference.

The conference is sponsored by a three-year grant from the Elfenworks Foundation.

The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business began as the Mills MBA Program with twelve students in 2001 and expects to grow to more than 100 students. Its new state-of the-art environmentally friendly facility is slated for a fall 2009 opening. The Mills MBA Program is the first in the West created specifically for women.

Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity to approximately 950 undergraduate women and 500 graduate women and men. Since 2000, applications to Mills College have more than doubled. The College is named one of the top colleges in the West by U.S. News & World Report, one of the Best 368 Colleges by the Princeton Review, and ranks 75th among America's best colleges by Forbes.com. Visit us at www.mills.edu.

PRESS CONTACT:
Quynh Tran
Media Relations Manager
510.430.2300




Last Updated: 8/18/08