“We Are the World” – How a Green MBA is Good for the Environment
The world view has changed over the past few years, and accompanying the change is a revolution in how society views a college degree. Until recently, a Master’s degree in Business Administration has focused on preparing students for a career in the traditional areas. But because of global warming and the resulting environmental issues, sustainable MBAs are now in demand.
Helping the World Stay Green
A sustainable, or “green,” MBA includes the traditional learning but branches out into the concepts of environmental responsibility as well. A green MBA focuses on sustaining the world’s natural environment by managing its populations, economics and habitats on a global scale. There is now a concerted effort to teach future generations the importance of sustaining the planet. There are dozens of such programs, and some of the top ones include:
- An MBA in Sustainable Enterprise from the Dominican University of California
- A Global Green MBA from Brandeis University’s International Business School
- A Master of Sustainability from Monash University in Australia
The dates of when each college or university established its own sustainable program vary. One of the oldest MBA green programs is through Dominican University. The school was founded in 1890, and it led the way when it first offered the program in 2000.
A Different Focus for Each School
Dominican University encourages students to collaborate with each other on projects designed to blend their commitment to the environment with sound business principles. The goal, says the college, is to develop leaders well-equipped to handle the challenges of preserving the world’s limited resources. One way to do that is to create financially feasible and economically balanced initiatives for organizations.
Brandeis emphasizes the “socially responsible business” aspect of its green MBA. Some of the questions it encourages its graduate students to answer include how entrepreneurs can create new businesses that help the environment, and the relationship between social and environmental regulations and how they shape business decisions. Students are taught to look at the big picture to address compromises between social, economic and environmental goals.
Monash University’s interdisciplinary Master of Sustainability degree is designed for graduates with a variety of backgrounds but a common interest in protecting the Earth’s environment. It may take a different approach than MBA programs in the United States, but it has the same goals. The program is divided into three parts, focusing on environmental sustainability, the corporate role in environmental management, and international environmental analysis.
Rigorous Training for “Green Collar” Jobs
Major metropolitan areas are responsible for 70 percent of greenhouse gases produced globally, 60 percent of the water supply and two-thirds of the energy used. With this in mind, the skills, concepts and ideas the students embrace prepare them for a number of environmentally-related careers after graduation. Some sustainable jobs include:
- Director of Policy for the California Center for Sustainable Energy
- Manager of Corporate Partnerships for the Alliance for Climate Education
- A Sustainability Specialist for the Environmental Defense Fund’s Corporate Partnerships Program
- General Counsel for the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association
- A Natural Resource Specialist for Ocean Associates, Inc.
Sustainable MBAs leading to green jobs may be new on the horizon, but they’re here to stay. They are forward-thinking, realistic and equip students to tackle the challenges of balancing the earth’s population with its finite resources. Educationally, they prepare students to fill jobs in the rapidly-growing clean energy sector.