Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business {College of Business}

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Students + Alumni : Joanne Panchana

Joanne Panchana

Joanne Panchana (MBA Candidate 2012)

Program Manager


Joanne graduated from Chico State in 2007 with a degree in environmental and physical geography and a minor in environmental studies. While studying at Chico State, she served as the Green Campus program director, a position in which she was responsible for generating sustainability initiatives on campus. In this role, she helped to lead educational programs pertaining to energy conservation and waste minimization and she also played an integral role in driving energy efficiency projects in campus facilities and housing. This position took her to the annual UC/CSU/CCC Sustainability Conference, which ultimately led her to a job within the integrated demand side management (IDSM) department at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

As a part of the IDSM department at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Joanne helps customers to save money and reduce their emissions through energy efficiency, demand response and self generation. Aside from her primary role within the company, she helped to start the Grassroots Green Network (GGN) at PG&E. This organization strives to align PG&E with its goal of environmental leadership by inspiring engagement and driving employee initiatives at work and within the community. The GGN has over 200 employee members and the support many of the company leaders including the chief sustainability officer. The GGN’s key initiatives have included waste minimization contests and education, creating a Green Meeting Guide and championing environmental leadership through volunteerism.

Her inspiration for forming the Green Network at PG&E came from Murray Silverman’s MGMT 856 Managing the Sustainable Business class. It was in this course that Joanne became motivated to instigate change, prompted by the course material, in-class speakers, classmates, and the professor.

Since Joanne’s undergraduate work focused on land and environmental studies, the MBA Emphasis in Sustainable Business was a logical next-step to integrate her passion with her career. SF State’s program has helped Joanne to tie her environmental interests into the business world. She says that the program has enabled her to, “apply business concepts as change drivers for sustainability.”

Joanne was part of the team that won the 2008 Richard A. Clarke Environmental Leadership Award for her efforts in the PG&E Change a Light Change the World 1 Million CFL giveaway in collaboration with ENERGY STAR®

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