Students for Ethical and Responsible Business (SERB) is not your typical student organization. Founded last year by two ambitious freshmen, Alana McKeever and T.J. Pyzyk, the org has already seen tremendous growth and is doing amazing things for the Madison community. I spoke with Alana to learn more about how SERB is proving to the community that making a profit goes hand-in-hand with maintaining an environmentally conscious business.
Why did you feel the need to found SERB?
I came to Madison because it’s environmentally friendly. When I came to the Wisconsin School of Business, I was disappointed. The WSoB didn’t have the same passion towards the environment as the Madison community has and I wanted to change that. I met T.J. and he wanted to start an ethical business club so we decided to team up and make an org together.
What is SERB’s mission?
We want to prove to businesses that you don’t have to walk over anyone and can be ethical and responsible while still making a profit. Responsibility and profitability go hand-in-hand. Using fewer resources is better for both the environment and your bottom line.
What kinds of projects is the org working on?
We recently had an event with Colectivo (a coffee shop founded in Milwaukee committed to using local ingredients) Co-Founder Lincoln Fowler, we’re working with Redamte (another coffee shop that focuses on restorative entrepreneurship), we’ve been consulting with Lands’ End to figure out how to get them to 100% no waste sent to the landfill, we have a consulting committee that we’re hoping to turn into an actual company in the future, we’ve had recycling initiatives, we’re focusing on how to cut down on the use of receipts…we’re doing a lot! We don’t just want to be an org that has speaker meetings; we want to do something real because we can!
Have you found that Madison has been receptive to your ideas?
Yes. However, this is still a huge separation between the WSoB and the rest of Madison. Even now, they’re still working on allowing Business majors to get a certificate in sustainability. It’s interesting because the environment is such a big focus on campus. SERB is helping bridge that divide.
Where do you want to see SERB in a few years?
I’d love for us to continue growing. It’s hard because we’re new and I don’t yet know how to lead that many people. I hope to see us remain focused and united through huge growth. I want to see SERB making real changes in real businesses. If businesses don’t change, no one else will.
If you’re interested in learning more about SERB, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings take place every Monday at 7pm and they encourage new members to join!