Faculty Spotlight - Sharon Hanna-West

Sharon Hanna-West dons two hats: College of Business instructor and environmental activist. More often than not, however, the two areas blend together, providing students with the prime opportunity to learn about sustainability in the classroom from a firm believer in the concept.

Hanna-West, who teaches business ethics, sustainable business practices, and environmental law, defines business sustainability as lessening the adverse social and environmental impact of business practices in consideration of the needs of future generations. It takes ethics beyond simply doing what is right morally or legally, and is a maturing discipline that incorporates a company's financial bottom line along with environmental and social responsibility into what some refer to as "the Triple Bottom Line."

"This is an area of critical importance today and a focus in the corporate responsibility and ethics arenas," Hanna-West said. "The world today is demanding more of business than the short-term focus we've had in the past. It can be challenging for a company to craft sustainable business plans, but there are tremendous opportunities for those with vision," she said. "At the beginning of our last industrial revolution there were many who said that we would never drive automobiles and we would never use electricity to power our homes. They were wrong. Some today will continue to deny the need for change, while others will embrace it. They will be the titans of this century."

Hanna-West joined the College of Business in 1992. She serves on several committees for USF's School of Global Sustainability and is the faculty advisor for both the Graduate Business Association and Net Impact, an international nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.