Target Green

Green or gold?

MBA students are looking at a green beyond that of dollars, or aren’t they? USA Today reports that business schools across the country are incorporating environmental and social issues in the curriculum, and some even tout an all-green program.

The goal? How to succeed in business without really frying the planet. “Essentially we’ve got to change the way we’re doing everything and making everything,” Stayton [director of an all-green program at Dominican University of California] said.

While an all-green program may harbor a “Captain Planet” mentality, green-focused programs at schools such as Duke and Stanford are adapting to the growing environmental awareness and demands from corporations (of new hires) and consumers (of their products).

“What we’re seeing at Duke, and we’re seeing this probably everywhere, is the business community now has reached a point where they recognize that to be globally competitive, you have to have an understanding of the risks and the opportunities that natural environments pose for firms,” said Michael Lenox, associate professor of business. “We’re seeing recruiters and the like asking that of our students: Do they have that knowledge?”

The new programs may be environmentally friendly, but they’re still all business.

For non-Ivy and top-tier schools, much of the intention behind the green program is to provide students with a competitive edge upon graduation.

“We want people who graduate from our program to be able to go toe-to-toe with MBAs from Stanford, Harvard … all the other fine business schools,” said Miguel Esteban, director of enrollment, management and marketing at the Bainbridge program.

I just hope that the curriculum includes a lesson or two on how to avoid the negative effects of greenwashing…

1 Comment so far

  1. Heather Kernahan on October 16th, 2007

    I’ve been in PR for 10 years and recently decided to head back for an MBA - after A LOT of research I applied and was accepted into Green MBA program at Dominican. I attend part time so can’t provide deep comments yet on the curriculum but if my first course (Critical Thinking for Leadership in Business Redesign) is any indication, the program will be grounded in sustainable enterprise fundamentals with a heavy hand on learning traditional business skills.

    I actually have an assignment to talk to leaders in the Green space and would love the chance to interview a few people from the PR world who are emerging in this arena. I have contacted the heads of CSR and sustainability/green practices at all the top PR firms but haven’t heard back from anyone yet. I can be reached at for anyone who could spare 30 minutes for discussion.

    Thank you,

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