As managing director and head of credit research for Wachovia Capital Markets L.L.C., in Charlotte, N.C., Lee Brading is accustomed to crunching numbers. But working on special projects with the company’s integrated research team gives him deeper insights into the environmental trends affecting American businesses.
In March, Brading’s team released a report, “The Greening of America,” which included case studies on 46 American corporations— including the Walt Disney Co., Time Warner Inc., and Genzyme Corp.—to show what they are doing to become more sustainable and how many are profiting from their efforts. Among the report’s conclusions: Consumers are demanding environmentally friendly practices; companies are integrating green efforts into their public relations strategies; and most businesses today are earnestly seeking to shrink their carbon footprints.
Though he majored in business and accounting at W&L, Braden thinks this kind of project shows how critical it is for students to develop other skills. “In a report like this, you do a lot of writing and research, but at the same time, a lot of detailed analysis of companies and their balance sheets and income statements,” he said. “I’ve gotten that benefit of the liberal arts education combined with a skills set in my major.”
As for the subject of his report, “the green movement is not a fad,” said Brading. “It’s going to be around forever and will be a driving force.”