A Guest Post by Nadia Jones
In just a few years, environmentally conscious business practices went from being an innovative marketing tactic to a standard business requirement in most all influential and major business industries. For this reason, the rise in environmentally focused business education programs should come as no surprise. With eco-conscious initiatives ruling the business world, employees with an educational background in sustainability are highly coveted.
Several universities and colleges across the country have business school programs that now incorporate aspects of sustainable and environmental education. These programs provide business students with the essential knowledge they need to enter a high power position among major businesses and companies throughout the world, as well as knowledge on environmental issues and practices important within the corporate world today and in the future. A traditional MBA program requires coursework primarily focused on finance, management, economic theory, and business ethics. Sustainable MBA programs include all these same core subjects, as well as a focus on managing for environmental and social sustainability.
In just the past decade, “sustainability” has become such a buzzword that it seems to have lost some of its meaningfulness. Sustainability doesn’t just mean “green” as many advertisements and articles would have it seem. It does not merely suggest recycling things and being less wasteful (though those are certainly two sustainable actions). Sustainability, in the manner that it is most often used today, means a capacity to endure—a long-term commitment to the maintenance of environmental, economic, and social dimensions of our existence and our resources on Earth.
Sustainability from an MBA perspective incorporates each of these focuses—environmental, economic, and social—into the business and corporate world. MBA students in such programs will explore how industry can reduce its contribution to the shortage of oil and other natural resources, its impact on habitat and species loss, its role in global warming, and its position in overpopulation and poverty. Each of these natural, economic, and social hardships is intrinsically involved with the business world. In this way, MBA programs setting their sights directly on these issues should be seen as a huge step forward for our planet and our society.
But what does this mean for MBA students in such sustainability programs? The future is promising for students entering educational programs focused on environmental initiatives and sustainability. More and more, today’s boom areas of business are looking for young employees who are educated on and enthusiastic about sustainable issues in business. For this reason, an MBA with an environmental focus may be more valuable than a traditional MBA in today’s job market. Sustainability is something that we as a society need to put the ultimate value on. One of the most effective ways to put more emphasis on sustainability and the environment is to incorporate these values into our educational system. Sustainability MBAs are a glimpse at what the future “traditional” MBA will look like.
Though the general belief is that green means expensive, sustainable business can actually be quite profitable for businesses once put into full swing. Aside from being the socially responsible thing to do as a business leader, sustainable business tactics can actually save a company money. For many businesses part of their sustainability plan is wasting fewer resources. Less waste of material and resources means smaller overall cost to run the business. Another aspect of sustainability is using less energy to run your business. Just as with wasting fewer materials, using less energy can save a business a significant amount of money. Though “going green” has become much more than merely a marketing strategy, it is nonetheless a great marketing point.
The leaders of today want to work for a green business and consumers today want to support a green business. In this way, profits will almost always increase when consumers and employees see that a business is forward thinking and socially responsible. Whether profits increase with sustainable business policies or not (and they likely will), sustainable business just makes clear sense. Business and industry is the only entity strong enough and large enough to truly influence the green revolution.
1. Sustainability is no longer merely a buzzword and marketing tactic.
2. Sustainability means a capacity to endure. It is a long-term commitment to the maintenance of environmental, economic, and social dimensions of our existence and our resources on Earth.
3. Sustainable degrees have become viable assets to one’s education and resume.
4. Sustainable MBA programs specifically have become one of the most desired advanced degrees available in industry.
5. In time, Sustainability MBAs will become the “traditional” MBA.
6. The movers and shakers and consumers of today require and expect green values in business and education.
7. Sustainable business methods increase sales, reduce costs, and improve profit.
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.