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The 11 Best US Business Schools For Sustainability

Programs that teach sustainable business practices are in demand

By  Fred Shevaca-Duwe

Wed Apr 18 2018

Sustainability has become one of the hottest topics in business.

Business world interest in issues such as climate change and renewable energy has soared, which has dramatically increased the importance of sustainability in every MBA curriculum.

Younger generations are especially eager to learn how to flex their business skills in ways that won’t harm, or may even help, the earth and its inhabitants.

Of course, there are many different criteria to consider when looking at 'green' MBA programs. Some of these criteria are expected, such as curriculum, reputation, and faculty, but it's also essential that prospective b-schoolers apply a critical lens to the ways in which schools engage with their local communities. Not to mention other 'hands-on' opportunities that the programs provide in the realm of sustainability.

Here's 11 of the best US business schools for sustainability:


1. Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School's reputation precedes itself. CBS has produced over 44,000 alumni in its 102-year history, including Warren Buffett and Henry Kravis, among others. For those interested in sustainability, its Individual, Business and Society...

lum grooms students to tackle contemporary management challenges within a larger scope that takes the sometimes competing demands of  individuals, business, and society at large.

NYU Stern

2. NYU Stern School of Business

NYU Stern has a wide array of classes that prioritize sustainability, due in no small part to the school's Center for Sustainable Business, which further bolsters the school’s resources by helping to make sustainability a core part of the program’s mission. Furthermore, the Stern Campus Greening Initiative has helped to make the school’s buildings themselves environmentally friendly.

Stanford GSB

3. Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Stanford offers several options for students who are interested in the intersection between environment and business. In particular, its joint MS/MBA degree with the Stanford School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences offers an opportunity to fortify your business education with specific industry knowledge and skills.


4. Portland State University School of Business Administration

For those of you who have trekked to the Beaver State, it may not come as a surprise that Portland State’s MBA program boasts a curriculum that focuses heavily on sustainability, most notably its Certificate Program in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. PSU's Center for Global Leadership in Sustainability organizes an annual Elevating Impact Summit, which brings leading minds to the school to lecture on business and its social significance. To top it off, the school regularly connects its students to the city’s thriving community of local businesses.


5. Yale School of Management

The Yale School of Management offers an area of focus in sustainability, which emphasizes social and environmental responsibility, within the program’s already-renowned business curriculum. Yale's Center for Business and the Environment pools together the resources of the School of Management with those of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

UO Eugene

6. University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business

With its sustainable business practices specialization, the Lundquist College of Business provides a robust, experience-driven education. Students in the program also regularly collaborate with local businesses.

Duke Fuqua

7. University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business

The Darden Graduate School of Business has long been a center of sustainable business education. The Business in Society Conference was founded at the school and Darden's Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a central hub for research on business innovation and sustainability.


8. University of Vermont Grossman School of Business

The Grossman School of Business offers a Sustainable Innovation MBA, which works with other schools in the university to create a unique interdisciplinary pedagogical experience. The one-year program provides an accelerated, intimate approach that diverges from the typical MBA.

Duke Fuqua

9. Duke University the Fuqua School of Business

The Fuqua School of Business has a three-year joint MBA/Master of Environmental Management program. Every year, Fuqua holds its esteemed Conference on Sustainable Business and Social Impact, which is one of the largest forums for the social and environmental sustainability in the US.


10. Bard University MBA in Sustainability

Bard’s MBA in Sustainability is fairly new; it was founded in 2012. In just six short years, the program has steadily garnered a reputation for itself. Bard has a tremendous focus on hands-on experience, and is a great pick for students who want to work collaboratively. The program is semi-low residency, with regular intensive classes 10 times a year. As this MBA’s name suggests, the curriculum is entirely rooted in sustainable business practices.


11. Woodbury University School of Business

Woodbury University School of Business has a long tradition of teaching sustainable business practices. Situated in the Los Angeles area, the program has made community engagement and local, sustainable projects the core elements of its curriculum.