Getting a Grounding in Corporate Sustainability Practice

Department of Urban Studies and Planning student, Cristina Logg ’18, joins MIT Sloan’s Sustainable Business Lab this semester to help Biogen hone its sustainability strategies.

Cristina Logg ’18 is a first year Master in City Planning Candidate in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), with a focus on Environmental Policy and Planning. She is also pursuing a Sustainability Certificate through MIT Sloan, as a means to get a solid grounding in the business, science, and practice of sustainability in the corporate environment. As part of the Sustainable Business Lab (S-Lab) this semester, Cristina and three of her colleagues have teamed up with the biotechnology company Biogen to help hone its sustainability strategies. We asked Cristina what it’s like to be a DUSP student enrolled in S-Lab.

Question: Can you describe the S-Lab project you are currently working on?

Answer:  I am working with Biogen, looking at how patients and customers alike value the company’s sustainability efforts. Our primary focus has been their environmental sustainability projects, but we have expanded our aim to look at the social programs that patients and customers care about as well.

Question: How do you see your S-Lab project adding to your DUSP experience?

Answer:  The Biogen project has really helped me understand the constraints companies face when they try to meet their environmental and social sustainability goals. My work through DUSP thus far has been largely theoretical (although I have done practical work within local communities in Boston and in Malaysia through the program), and S-Lab has given me a way to apply my coursework outside the classroom to a corporate client. 

Question:  Can you foresee your S-Lab project aiding your career search. If so, how?

Answer:  Completely! I hope to use what I have learned, the contacts I have made, and the skills I have gained in my career post-MIT. S-Lab has also helped me realize I would ultimately like to work for a larger firm or a consulting company on sustainability. 

Question:  What skills are you learning from S-Lab in general and your project specifically?

Answer:  I’ve learned how to conduct informational interviews with individuals who work in companies and advocacy groups. I’ve also acquired a basic understanding of how to value a company’s sustainability efforts, as well as how to approach and work with corporate clients who view these projects as secondary to their jobs. Finally, S-Lab has taught me the language of the business world!