SALISBURY, Md. — The United Nations predicts that the world’s population will increase by 2 billion people in the next 30 years, which will greatly impact the UN Sustainability Development goals (SDGs) for improving economic prosperity and social well-being while protecting the environment. Additionally, consumer demand for healthy protein is expected to remain strong. To help meet these two significant challenges, Perdue Farms and Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business have announced that the company will be joining the Penn State University Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability as a Founding Member.
This partnership brings together two agriculture powerhouses. Perdue Farms brings 100 years of business acumen in the poultry, premium meat and agriculture oil and grain industry, while Penn State is a university with agriculture steeped into its DNA.
“At Perdue, we believe in responsible food and agriculture and have been at the forefront of many industry initiatives to address environmental, social and health concerns related to the poultry industry,” said Steve Levitsky, Perdue Farms vice president of sustainability.
“As we celebrate our 100th year in business, we are honored to become a founding member of the Penn State Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability to further our commitment to environmental stewardship,” Levitsky added. “This mutually beneficial partnership will allow us to work closely with the university and have access to their world-class research that can help to inform some of our environmental innovations to create a more sustainable future.”
As a Founding Member, Perdue Farms will have access to sustainability focused research and education services that can help it uncover social and environmental opportunities.
“We are excited to add a company with the history and reputation of Perdue Farms to our growing list of founding members,” said Erik Foley, Smeal Center director. “Perdue has long been an industry leader in responsible food and agriculture, and its commitment to consider the environment in every business decision is a stance we heartily embrace.”
The goal of the center is to cultivate the best practices and leaders that enable corporations to implement multi-dimensional, scalable business solutions by considering new and exciting approaches to business challenges, accounting for the social and environmental impact of decision making.
As part of this, Smeal faculty will conduct research, integrate leading-edge concepts into undergraduate and graduate curriculum, host events aimed at bringing together managers, executives, faculty and students, and partner with investors, business managers, NGOs, and governments to host business plan competitions focused on market-based sustainable development solutions.
Perdue Farms joins other business leaders as Founding Members including Verizon and IBM. Foley said the Smeal Center for the Business of Sustainability hopes to eventually recruit 20 companies as Founding Members. The power of those partnerships, coupled with the collective research capability of Smeal’s faculty members, will enable the center to be a leader in the business of sustainability.