Ramy Berenblum: From Farm to Corporate Sustainability

Colgate senior and environmental studies concentrator Ramy Berenblum has loved the outdoors since she started gardening with her mom in her hometown of Bedford, New York when she was little. Berenblum knew she wanted to continue her passion for conserving the world by getting involved in sustainability efforts. 

“I just loved to be outdoors and fell in love with plants, vegetables and cooking, and seeing from seed to plant and what you could do with food. I decided to do some outdoor adventure trips and hiked in really beautiful national parks and just wanted to conserve the world somehow.”

After taking many courses during her first year at Colgate, nothing interested her as much as her environmental studies classes. Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Andrew Pattison’s class, “Environmental Policy Analysis,” was an especially transformative class for Berenblum. 

“It was the first time I could really dive deeply into a topic and analyze it from a policy angle and think about the complexities of how difficult it is to regulate the environment,” she said.

Since her freshman year, Berenblum has worked at a market garden in Greenwich, Conn., an environmental education center in Yorktown, N.Y. and Common Thread Farm in Hamilton. After having these hands-on experiences in farming and talking to her father about his job in corporate sustainability, Berenblum looked into getting involved in corporate sustainability herself. This summer, Berenblum worked at MSCI, a company that gives out environmental social governance ratings based on the progress companies are making in reaching their environmental goals. 

“My dad started talking to me about how companies are kind of leading the charge in these new climate initiatives and social initiatives to actually start caring about people,” Berenblum said. “There are huge companies like PepsiCo that actually have a global influence, so it seems like using their power and money to affect actual change would be really useful.” 

Berenblum then worked for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a technology company leading the way for environmentally and socially responsible corporations. These experiences reinforced Berenblum’s interest in promoting sustainability in her career. She is graduating early this December and hopes to teach kids by having a seasonal position at a farm school or at an environmental education center.

“I didn’t get to go abroad because of [COVID-19] and didn’t get to have that formative life experience, so I don’t want to do anything too corporate yet. Teaching kids for six months will be great and then hopefully I’ll get back into corporate sustainability somehow. I want to share my passion with the next generation,” she said.

People like Berenblum, who are dedicated to not only teaching kids about the importance of sustainability but to making our communities and corporations more environmentally-conscious and aware of the effect they have on the earth, are making the world a more sustainable place.