PennTAP working to expand ESG offerings with help from graduate assistant

Creating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) plans helps companies lower energy consumption and energy-related costs. However, this can be difficult for small businesses to implement or manage due to a lack of staffing and internal resources compared to larger companies.

Over the past year, graduate assistant Amanda Enns has helped PennTAP with its ESG projects, which in part aim to close the gap between current ESG offerings and small businesses. This work has helped outline how small to mid-sized businesses can get support on environmental initiatives, such as understanding their energy usage, developing a greenhouse gas inventory, setting targets, and identifying opportunities for energy reduction.

“I’m passionate about sustainability and have been thrilled to be a part of this project to help promote awareness and support for ESG initiatives,” Enns said. “I’m excited to continue to learn more about ESG and develop ways that PennTAP can be a resource to companies around Pennsylvania.”

Enns, who is pursuing a master’s degree through the Engineering Leadership & Innovation Management (ELIM) program, has also helped PennTAP staff with pollution prevention and energy efficiency assessments. Overall, PennTAP’s statewide staff helps small to mid-sized businesses and manufacturers with energy and operational assessments, energy grants and rebates, and university engagement.

“Through Amanda’s work and the support of our advisors, we now have the beginnings of a new service offering that will support our small manufacturers in Pennsylvania by positioning them for greater success and compliance to potential new reporting requirements through their supply chain,” PennTAP Director Tanna Pugh said. “We look forward to how Amanda’s ESG work will progress over this upcoming year while we strive to support Pennsylvania small to mid-sized businesses.”

This coming year, Enns will continue her work on ESG to further define what PennTAP’s related offerings will be in this space. She will also be working on internal process improvement projects that include refinement of PennTAP’s energy calculators, tools, and internal procedures.

“It has been great to work with a team of advisors with backgrounds in a range of industries with various degrees and certifications,” Enns said. “It allows for diverse perspectives on projects and team decisions. As I’m still navigating what my career will look like, I’ve been grateful to learn from these mentors and consider new perspectives.”

Students interested in the graduate assistantship opportunity with PennTAP should contact Tanna Pugh.