Stern MBA Students Selected for IFC Climate Fellowship Program

Members of IFC Climate Fellowship Program
NYU Stern MBA students Stephanie Chen (MBA '19) and Jamison Friedland (MBA '20) participated in the recently launched IFC Climate Business Fellowship. To learn more about the program, read the IFC blog post below.

The Future is Green

We at IFC believe the future of business is green. It must be if we are to avert a climate catastrophe. But it is not only about doing good for the planet. It is about generating value and prosperity through sustainable economic growth and enhanced returns. Investing in climate business is one of the biggest opportunities of this century. IFC estimates this opportunity to be $23 trillion across 21 large emerging markets by 2030. To turn this opportunity into viable investments requires green-business savvy and skills.

To foster the next generation of green-business leaders, IFC’s Climate Business Department has launched the Climate Fellowship Program. Participating students, selected on a competitive basis, have come from New York University, Imperial College, Dartmouth College, and the University of Iowa. The Program consists of six-to-10-week engagements on discrete initiatives offered throughout the year. The students work on a wide range of projects, such as evaluating approaches on measuring and minimizing post-harvest food losses, return on investment in green buildings and the size of this market, impact accounting for green bonds, and research on energy storage. 

“Universities have always been at the forefront of innovation and progress,” said Alzbeta Klein, IFC Director of the Climate Business Department. “Our long-term vision for this Fellowship Program is for future business leaders to stop differentiating between green and business as usual. All businesses should consider their impact on the planet and communities and strive to do good as a way to do well.”

The projects that the fellows undertake help inform and shape IFC’s climate-business work. The findings of these projects are also made public through IFC-issued reports, targeting investors to enhance their understanding of green-business opportunities across emerging markets. As for the students, they gain practical business skills and experience in evaluating climate-business opportunities and gain exposure to fast-emerging trends that are shaping the business of tomorrow. The students see firsthand the business value of investment strategies that integrate environmental, social, and governance considerations as strategic to companies’ long-term success.  

“As an MBA student passionate about the environment and climate change, I was very interested to join IFC's Climate Business Department as a summer fellow,” said Stephanie Chen, a recent graduate student at NYU.  "I had the opportunity to work on activities related to climate-smart agribusiness investments, including researching and analyzing different potential post-harvest food- loss impacts. This work allowed me to appreciate the importance of proper accounting and measurement of climate impacts in order to design effective interventions to address climate change.”  

This Program is part of IFC’s broader approach to developing the next generation of green business leaders. For example, the Corporation runs an extensive certification program for individuals and companies interested in certifying their projects with EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Experts— or becoming accredited consultants under IFC’s program tailored for emerging markets. IFC has launched a University program to incorporate green building design into curricula, with pilot programs underway in Indonesia and Vietnam, and has certified university buildings globally under its EDGE program.