If you’re planning to take the college path – which costs a small fortune these days – why not make it green?
Many business schools are beginning to offer sustainable business classes in their MBA programs, but the number of actual Green MBAs is still relatively small. Additionally, online green MBA programs are being developed and offered by for-profit and non-profit brick and mortar campus schools as well, allowing for a more flexible learning experience. As with most institutions, smaller colleges tend to adapt more readily to changing conditions, but rest assured, these are quality education programs developed for this expanding niche.
The following top five green MBA schools were chosen by their curriculum, innovation and commitment to sustainability in business.
1. Bainbridge Graduate Institute
The The Seattle Times profiled this pioneer in the creation of the Green MBA, one of the first schools to develop and incorporate sustainability into each course within their MBA program, ultimately offering an actual Sustainable MBA. While not a large school, Bainbridge Graduate has turned out successful graduates like Kevin Hagen (class 2005) who is the current director of corporate responsibility at an outdoor equipment retailer.
2. Presidio Graduate School
For those looking to earn a green MBA but want the flexibility to get into public administration or the business world, this is the school for you. Offering an MBA and MPA in Sustainable Management, the Presidio Graduate School also offers dual programs for those who want options, or want to be able to combine the strengths of each specialization into their careers. Amongst the faculty at Presidio are the world-renowned sustainability consultant, Hunter Lovins, and the former president of the Pacific Stock Exchange, Warren Langley.
3. University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business
You will find responsible business practices woven into the core curriculum at the University of Michigan. The distinctive Multidisciplinary Action program (MAP) involves non-profits, developing nations and sustainable enterprise. Community service is another hallmark of this program, as is a partnership with the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the Frederick and Barbara Erb Institute, which focuses on global sustainable enterprise.
4. Stanford University, Graduate School of Business
If the campus is any indication of their sustainable programs, then they are definitely one of the top universities in the U.S. With their campus buildings expected to achieve the highest platinum certification for environmental sustainability, Stanford University has made a commitment to both teaching sustainability and living it. Already know for their environmental consciousness within the socially minded Northern California town of Palo Alto, their business school MBAs are also influenced. The curriculum for just about every class at this business school has a lesson of sustainability, from corruption studies to examining long-term environmental concerns and issues.
5. Yale University School of Management
Already a prestigious business school, many may be surprised to learn how developed and green Yale’s MBA program is. Incorporating partnerships between the Yale Center for Business and the Environment and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, provides a opportunity for research, education, and outreach to advance business solutions to global environmental problems.
The number of schools offering green MBA programs are growing and so is general interest in them. With companies becoming more interested in their own green image, the market for sustainable MBA graduates will only expand as well.
A good overview of both online and campus based Green MBA Programs available from top colleges.
Business Week article on the growing popularity of sustainable MBA programs.
An article profiling sustainable degrees offered by northwest colleges from the Seattle Times.
Beyond Grey Pinstripes ranking of the top MBA programs for the year 2010.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jean-Paul LaCount, the founder and managing editor of The Chic Ecologist, a sustainable green-living resource.
Image by: urbanlegend