Sustainability is an opportunity

Sustainability is an opportunity

Published: April 8, 2014.


Lewis University alumnus, Robert Langert ’78,
vice president for sustainability at McDonald’s
Corporation, presents a keynote presentation
“Sustainability as Opportunity: From Doing
Good to Driving the Bottom Line.”

The Fifth Annual “Come Clean, Go Green” student awards were celebrated March 31 at Lewis University. They followed a keynote presentation “Sustainability as Opportunity: From Doing Good to Driving the Bottom Line” by Lewis University alumnus, Robert Langert ’78, vice president for sustainability at McDonald’s Corporation.

Zach Sherman won first place for his proposal to install solar panels in a facilities shed to charge batteries for facilities tools and equipment. William Hoffman and the Online Lewis Flyer took second place for their creation of an online app for students to compare gas mileage. The third place prize went to Jose Marquez who analyzed the cost/benefit of using tablets instead of desktop computers in computer labs. Proposals were submitted and reviewed by Donald Castello, associate vice president for facilities, Dr. Jennifer Consilio Kukler, associate professor of English, Brother Thomas Dupre, FSC, associate professor of mathematics, Dr. Jerry Kavouras, chair and associate professor of biology, director of environmental science, Dr. Lauren Rentfro, assistant professor of secondary education, and Ken Osmun, Wight & Co. group president, construction.

Langert said that there needs to be a balance of consideration of the ethical issues of treating animals humanely, as well as the effect on the business operations. He has been engaged in social responsibility issues since the late 1980s. In his current role, he contributes to a wide range of areas including McDonald’s commitment to the environment, Balanced Active Lifestyles, supply chain sustainability, among others.

Langert shared specific examples of how McDonald’s has made a commitment to their communities to work with their suppliers for the welfare of animals and the environment. Currently McDonald’s serves a sustainable fish sandwich and coffee that is certified by the rain forest industry. They are in conversations with the beef and pork industries to develop standards and definitions of sustainable meat, with a goal of purchasing that by 2016. They also worked with other companies doing business in the Amazon to stop over-farming there.

The “Come Clean, Go Green” contest is sponsored by the Lewis University Sustainability Council. It develops policies and strategies that reflect Lewis University's commitment to sustainable practices. The council also promotes responsible environmental stewardship.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,600 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.



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