MSL Profile: Benjamin Fogg

Ben Fogg wearing a suit jacket and standing in front of a windowBenjamin Fogg is a student in the ASU School of Sustainability's Master of Sustainability Leadership program and graduates in Fall 2017. Fogg was recently promoted to Sustainability Specialist at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, PA. Currently, he works to develop internal and external relationships for FedEx Ground with the aim of applying circular economy principles using research from his SOS capstone project. Why did you choose to major in sustainability? Sustainability, in a sense, has been ingrained in me since I was a kid. I grew up in the Marshall Islands where I bore witness to beautiful islands and beaches, all while being surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The island itself was only three miles long and half a mile wide. Over time, these islands – and many others like them – have fallen victim to issues like climate change, ocean acidification and the plastics epidemic. Knowing that such problems exist and that they threaten the beautiful paradise where I grew up, I decided to pursue an education and career in which I help solve these problems while getting businesses on board to do the same. What do you do day-to-day for work, and what is the sustainability connection? Day-to-day, I’m working on multiple sustainability-related projects and developing relationships with both internal and external organizations. One of my main sustainability projects that I’ve been developing is bringing the concept of the circular economy to FedEx. Other projects involve the further development of our EarthSmart Champion program, which focuses on having sustainability champions across our entire network, and the Sustainability Pittsburgh Challenge, which focuses on on making our workplace more sustainable. How does your SOS education contribute to your success? My SOS education provides me with the credentials and knowledge required for such a role. In my opinion, the current sustainability career realm is very self-driven. This means that you must have an entrepreneurial type of spirit and eagerness to really dive into what you can create that connects many different avenues. What does sustainability mean to you, and why is it important? To me, sustainability means the capacity to not only endure, but to thrive within your total environment, while accounting for complete equity and fostering responsible economic value. In a personal sense, it’s the means to achieve your full potential, while keeping your total impact in mind. How does a sustainability degree help you to navigate an uncertain future? The education I’ve received during my coursework through ASU has been invaluable in helping me assess the future, both personally and with regard to career choices. While the future will always remain uncertain, the education I’ve received has provided me with an outlook on what sustainability possibilities exist if they are pursued. It is entirely possible to save this planet from an uncertain fate that stems from neglect and arrogance. Education, leadership and innovation are just three paths needed to help harbor positive outcomes, with the bulk of the responsibility relying on how we as humans interact with each other and our environment every day.