Business Schools Teach Environmental Studies

Learning how to be ecofriendly is an important business skill.

Sam Goldman (left) and Ned Tozun at Stanford created a power source for developing countries.

Sam Goldman (left) and Ned Tozun at Stanford created a power source for developing countries.

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A helpful career center is important, too. Check if anyone is specifically assigned to help people find jobs in sustainability-related fields, suggests Net Impact's Maw, and ask about the strength of student clubs like hers on campus. Net Impact and the Aspen Institute Center for Business Education both produce guides on how programs are addressing social and environmental issues.

Likewise, be sure to consider a school's commitment to the cause. Some universities have related research organizations on campus. Boston College, for instance, is the home of the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, which offers programming for M.B.A.'s in the Carroll School of Management.

It's also a good idea to ask schools how they are approaching sustainability. Is it through an environmental standpoint, for example, or through philanthropy? Cornell examines it through what Milstein describes as a "business-growth lens."

"It's much more, 'Let's think about how entrepreneurship and innovation serve as solutions to social and environmental issues and build that into the business.' It's not a particularly complicated concept, but it's not one that most programs take," Milstein says. "When students take the time to look at what those differences are, they start making decisions about what it is they want to study, and that tends to drive them toward where they want to go."