Amanda King - Director of Sustainability at Bentley University

Amanda King - Director of Sustainability at Bentley University

Amanda King serves as Bentley University’s Director of Sustainability and Special Advisor to President Gloria Larson. Ms. King oversees Bentley’s Office of Sustainability where she guides initiatives aimed at engaging the campus community in the university’s carbon and environmental footprint reduction efforts while educating students on the business imperative of “triple-bottom line” thinking: considering social and environmental measures along with economic results.

Amanda joined Bentley in July, 2009 after working for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a private consulting firm, where she assisted Fortune 500 companies in solving complex environmental problems within their operations.

Amanda Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Leading sustainability at a business school

  • Engaging students in sustainability work on campus

  • Systems thinking and sustainability

  • Advice and recommendation for sustainability leaders

Amanda's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

My piece of advice is to meet people where they are, develop your champions within the organization and develop them in a way that incorporates their ability to engage with you on sustainability. I think it's incredibly important to understand that everybody's coming to the sustainability story from a different place and if you're able to kind of listen and understand somebody's, perhaps even misgivings or the things that make them a champion for sustainability, you can really engage a lot of support. It's getting people on board in a way that makes sense for them.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

Renewable energy.

What is one book you'd recommend sustainability professionals read?

I was hoping that I could recommend a film actually. So, we do a sustainability film series here at Bentley and we have an incredible library of sustainability documentaries. So the number one I'd recommend is Merchants of Doubt. Merchants of Doubt is a very interesting film that basically covers the political process and I'd say the political process outside of Washington, which has to do with changing the public opinion on a certain topic. So it looks at the history of smoking in the United States and the history of tobacco companies and what needed to be done to keep tobacco companies in business. It kind of applies that same logic to the climate change challenge that we have now. Climate change really shouldn't be this partisan issue and it's a very interesting exploration of how you kind of frame and reframe a topic for the general public.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?

For me, and probably for most people that work in this space, reading current affairs is likely the most important thing that I do everyday. So, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week and Bloomberg Climate Change are the four places that I watch. Being able to be an expert on sustainability within an organization, it means that you really need to understand what's going on outside of the organization. It's a global challenge. It's very complex and staying up to date on what's happening, both in politics here in the United States but also globally, is of critical importance to me.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Bentley University?

You can find out more on our website, You can also find us on twitter. We're @sustainbentley and on Instagram