MBA programs in sustainability are on the rise, simply because sustainability is becoming increasingly important to businesses everywhere.
An MBA can boost careers for managers working in sustainability roles, such as strategic functions and corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments of companies committed to improving their social/environmental footprint or stakeholder engagement.
A number of business schools are now offering MBAs in Sustainability and CSR. The curriculum of MBA programs in in sustainability typically explores business ideas through different lenses: the “triple bottom line,” for example, gauges success based on not only a business' profit, but also how it effects the planet and humanity.
MBA programs in social entrepreneurship help students create and manage businesses to create social change. Nonprofits and social enterprises are often linked to sustainability objectives. (See the best MBA programs for Nonprofit Management here.)
The best business schools for sustainability will often host specialized, sustainability-oriented centers, which may produce research, put on events, and provide networking opportunities.
With an MBA in Sustainability, graduates can go on to a variety of different careers, such as sustainable accounting, CSR positions in private industry, or a range of jobs in nonprofits or social enterprises.
The school's Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship provides resources for students looking to create social change through innovation. The MBA program’s curriculum includes elective options like “Social Enterprise Design,” and “Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”View School Profile
The school's Center for Responsible Business organizes a range of sustainability-oriented events and provides resources like fellowships and scholarships for CSR-minded MBAs. Elective courses like “Social Finance” examine core business topics through the lens of sustainability.View School Profile
Launched in 2003, Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise publishes relevant research in the fields of sustainability and CSR. MBA students can pursue a concentration in “Sustainable Global Enterprise,” as well as a company project focusing on CSR topics.View School Profile
The school’s Business for Impact initiative—previously known as the Global Social Enterprise initiative—aims to prepare business leaders to face the social, economic, and environmental challenges of today. In recent years, the school has doubled-down on its sustainability offerings, giving MBA students the opportunity to pursue a Certificate in Sustainable Business during their studies.View School Profile
With the Social Enterprise Initiative, Harvard was one of the first business schools to build research capacity in the CSR space. Many of the classes in the MBA program’s core curriculum integrate CSR case studies.View School Profile
Ranked the top sustainability-oriented school in Europe by the now-defunct sustainability rankings from “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” IE Business School offers relevant courses, and puts on an annual “Social Responsibility Forum” that explores CSR-related issues.View School Profile
In 2013, the school announced that it had completely revamped its traditional full-time MBA, transforming it into an “MBA in Responsible Management,” which focuses on sustainability and CSR issues. The school’s Institute for Global Responsibility and Entrepreneurship publishes research and provides networking opportunities.View School Profile
Through courses like “Business, Society, and Sustainable Development,” the MBA program's core curriculum places a strong focus on sustainability and CSR. In fact, the school has integrated the UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education into the MBA programs’ curriculum. The school also produces a range of research in the sustainability field.View School Profile
Students interested in sustainability and CSR can pursue the MBA program’s specialization in “Sustainability and Business.” The school’s Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation publishes relevant research.View School Profile
Founded in 1996, Ross’ Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a thought leader in the space. Students interested in sustainability can pursue a dual-degree MBA / Master of Science offered in partnership with the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.View School Profile
Related MBA News
Why Sustainability Tops the Agenda for Business Schools
Apr 27, 2020
Under pressure on all fronts to move beyond ‘profits at all costs’, business schools are making sustainability part of the core MBA curriculum
Investments That Can End Poverty
Feb 23, 2015
Some business schools and MBA students see impact investing as a way to make a difference, as well as turn a profit
More than Profit: Can an MBA Program Help Make a Difference?
Mar 10, 2014
How a growing number of MBA programs are preparing people to work in non-profits and other mission-driven organizations
Will The Financial Crisis Kill the Good Corporate Citizen?
Nov 08, 2008
CSR and sustainability-oriented business schools stay upbeat about the demand for their graduates.