About Us

The UNC Sustainability Awards recognize leadership and best practice for three winners: An established and entrepreneurial North Carolina business that shows innovation, initiative and impact in sustainability, as well as a Kenan-Flagler Distinguished Alumnus in Sustainability. For the business awards, our Business Leadership in Sustainability (BLiS) and Student-Athlete Sustainability Initiative (SASI) Associates research businesses and use the frameworks we teach to propose their top choices, and the Kenan-Flagler MBA Net Impact Chapter uses a rigorous selection process to choose the winners from the pool of nominees. For the alumni award, the winner is selected by an internal committee vote. The event provides an opportunity for innovators to share their stories and be recognized by the Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability at this invitation-only gala.

Selection Criteria


The drive to act or take charge before others do


A new or novel idea, method or approach


To have a strong effect on someone or something


The Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability

The Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability drives responsible thought leadership and inspired action to accelerate progress in social and environmental sustainability through innovative and profitable business solutions.

We accomplish this by engaging with and connecting stakeholders to empower students, faculty and businesses to create impactful solutions, strengthen resiliency and identify breakthrough opportunities.


Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is a nonpartisan business policy think tank affiliated with the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. Founded in 1985, the nonprofit institute facilitates collaboration between the private, public and nonprofit sectors to build a greater understanding of how entrepreneurship, economic development and global commerce can work for the public good. It leverages best-in-class research to develop market-based solutions to today’s most complex economic challenges; in doing so, the Kenan Institute aims to better the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.