Environmental sustainability is becoming more important to businesses. Corporations are increasingly turning to more sustainable business models, and companies considered leaders in environmental, social, and governance policies also lead in stock performance by an average of twenty-five percent.
What does this green business boom mean for higher ed? Universities and colleges have an important responsibility when it comes to providing practical, sustainable educations for students looking to enter an increasingly green job market. By combining sustainability and environmental awareness with management, economics, and entrepreneurship, higher ed can provide a solid foundation for students looking to contribute to corporate sustainability.
Below are the top ten graduate programs for environmental sustainability, as rated by Triple Pundit. Read on to find out why they stand out and what they can offer.
1. University of California, Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management
2. Presidio Graduate School
3. Pinchot University, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
4. University of Michigan, Ross School of Business
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management
6. Cornell University, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management
7. Yale University, Yale School of Management
8. Bard College
9. Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management
10. Duquesne University, Donahue Graduate School of Business
Environmental sustainability is important in business. More and more consumers want the companies whose products they buy to be environmentally sustainable. A 2014 Nielsen survey found that 55 percent of global online consumers in 60 countries said they would pay more for products and services from companies committed to positive environmental and social impact.
And environmental sustainability can have an impact on stock performance, as a 2007report by Goldman Sachs shows: The companies considered leaders in environmental, social and governance policies lead in stock performance by an average of 25 percent.
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) provides numerous examples of how environmental sustainability benefits companies in its report titled, “The Business Case for the Green Economy.” Here are a few:
General Motors saved over $30 million in six years through its resource productivity program while reducing waste volume by 40 percent
Grupo Bimbo in Mexico saved about $700,000 and 338,400 cubic meters of water in three years through its water reduction program
General Electric’s sales of its Ecomagination products reached $18 billion in 2009
If environmental sustainability is important in business, then it should be important in business school programs, including graduate programs. Net Impact evaluated almost 100 programs and ranked them on their integration of social and environmental themes. Called the Business as UNusual (BAU) guide, it ranked 50 schools for environmental sustainability.