Teaching Sustainability at Business School

From clean energy to green building, energy efficiency to footprint reduction, there are plenty of business opportunities in the sustainability space. Naturally, one might assume that business schools offer programs that speak to the eco-aware agenda.

In fact, sustainability programs are only recently infiltrating business school curricula. But, as SustainAbility founder John Elkington notes, the trend is accelerating.

“Twenty years ago it was generally the MBA students – not the faculty – who wanted to hear about the evolving agenda for business,” he writes. “In the past decade, however, sustainability has moved in from the cold.”

Beyond Grey Pinstripes, published by the Aspen Institute, ranks business schools on social and environmental criteria. It provides a clear picture of the trend’s acceleration. Stanford University is number one on the list for its “curriculum, research, experiential learning, and commitment to corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability.” The Stanford Graduate School of Business offers a joint MS Environment and Resources/MBA focusing on the science, engineering, and technology required to address environmental problems.

For a good list of U.S. business schools offering sustainability programs, head over to BusinessWeek

Photo: Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. Stanford’s Graduate School of Business is the top-rated school in the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes sustainability rankings. (Bloomberg)

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