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Majors Making a Difference: Sustainable Business
Sarah Kuck, 24 Oct 08

Bringing Sustainability to Business

This piece is part of a series on how universities and colleges around the world are integrating theories of sustainability into traditional majors to give students the skills they need to build a more sustainable future for all.

Where to Study: Bainbridge Graduate Institute

schools_sustainablebusiness.jpg One leading school offering MBAs and certificates in Sustainable Business is the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. At BGI students can earn their MBA in Sustainable Business in two to three years. Students can also choose from certificate programs, including Sustainable Business, Writing about Innovation and Sustainability, or Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship, to complement their existing degree or line of work. The hybrid online and in-the-classroom course system allows MBS students flexibility to earn a degree while continuing to work full- or part-time if they choose. Students at BGI study topics such as Responsible Capitalism, Systems Thinking in Action, and Creativity and Right Livelihood.

Although students who choose to major in sustainable business often plan for careers similar to those of traditional business majors, they strive to use their knowledge of the triple bottom line (money, environment, society) to make the businesses they work for interact with society and the environment in a way that is more sustainable.

Business is one of the most popular majors in the United States. Each year, colleges unleash graduates into the world of management and finance with the best information they can give them on how they can own, operate and structure companies. But often times what they don’t give them is a full understanding of how financially-focused decisions can affect the rest of the world, both negatively and positively.

While wanting to run a successful business that makes a profit is no crime, placing priority solely on finances can cause business owners and managers to lose touch with other concerns such as workers rights and environmental protection. With a growing demand for more business owners and operators to incorporate sustainable practices into their business models, many business schools are looking into building sustainability into their programs.

If you are interested in training for a career in sustainable business, you can take classes to earn your undergraduate or graduate degree, or you can earn a certificate to enhance a degree you already hold.

See the Worldchanging community discussion about where to study sustainable business here.

schools_university.jpg More Places to Study:

Presidio School of Management Sustainable MBA
Center for Sustainable Business Practices
Aquinas College

Major universities around the globe are now integrating ideas about sustainability into their business programs. So many, in fact, that The Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education has created a global rank of the top 100 business schools. MBA programs at Stanford and The University of Michigan top their list for their ability to provide opportunities, exposure, content and research for students and faculty. (See the full list here.)

Images by Morgan Greenseth

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