MBA programs heighten their focus on sustainability issues

by Vault Consulting Editors | June 21, 2010

  • My Vault

What with a massive oilspill onour hands and constant worry of global warning, it should come as no surprisethat business schools are starting to ramp up their focus on climate changeissues. Of course, MBA students have been discussing climate change for a fewyears now, but according to the WallStreet Journal,schools are now plunging into these issues with a much more detailed agenda.

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Among other efforts, many programs are nowappointing dedicated faculty posts to address environmental issues; highlightingcase studies focused on companies that have reduced their carbon footprint; andencouraging student projects proposing new ways of cutting emissions. Some schools,such as China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, requirestudents to take a course on sustainability and responsible leadership, while NorwichBusiness School in England has gone so far as to create the first MBA instrategic carbon management,which promises to give students a "robust and holistic theoretical and practical knowledge ofresponsible business practice" and an "in-depth knowledge of theimpacts of climate change and the low-carbon economy and how it will define newboundaries, management requirements and opportunities for organizations."

Schools are increasingly being told bytheir advisory boards and corporations that sustainability must be a key facetof their offerings, especially since governments around the world will beincreasing their corporate sustainability regulations as time goes on. Policymodeling expert Chris Hope, of University of Cambridge's Judge Business Schoolstated, "Business schools shouldhave a practical focus; we're interested in results in the real world. And sowe would certainly be a good place to move beyond the complex science and seewhat the implications of that science might be for businesses and forgovernment." Educatingthe future business leaders of the world on sustainability best practices isthe best way to ensure that companies continue to prioritize these issues andcontinue to seek ways to shrink their carbon emissions.

Filed Under: Consulting

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