The Top Business Schools for Eco-Entrepreneurs
We've outlined the hottest areas of opportunity in green business. Here's where to go to get educated in how to do it.
Babson College F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
MBA Enrollment: 1,485
Green Curriculum: Babson offers more than a dozen green-themed classes, including Imagining Sustainability, Water in America and Social Responsibility in Malaysia.
Bragging Rights: In 2010, Babson engaged GreenerU, an innovative, higher-education-focused energy and sustainability services company, to assist in establishing and operating the college's first dedicated Sustainability Office.
Star Tree Hugger: BigBelly Solar, which makes solar-powered compacting trash cans, was partially founded by alum Jim Poss.
Local Impact: Between 2005 and 2010, Babson reduced its electricity consumption by 19 percent and its fuel consumption by 15 percent.
The View: From the Horn Library, you can see hundreds--if not thousands--of trees, including a descendent of Isaac Newton's apple tree.
MBA Enrollment: 558
Bragging Rights: Students engage in volunteer and paid sustainability research and have helped local companies develop sustainability plans and evaluated wind power and composting plans.
Local Impact: The school has reduced its electricity consumption by 10 percent and is working on a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.
MBA Enrollment: 75
Green Curriculum: In 2008, the school launched the MBA in Socially Responsible Business, aka the Global Green MBA. Classes include Business and the Environment, Managing the Triple Bottom Line and Investing in Energy.
Star Tree Hugger: Andrew DeGuire, vice president of strategy and acquisitions at Johnson Controls Inc., a $28 billion company that specializes in energy retrofits for commercial office buildings, which helps businesses shrink their environmental footprint and lower electricity bills.
Local Impact: Students work with local companies to help develop marketing and distribution plans for green products, and have helped design water management strategies.
The View: Trees as far as the eye can see.
Tuition: $1,554 per unit
MBA Enrollment: 256
Green Curriculum: Claremont recently developed special topics courses on sustainability, which include an 11-day program in Costa Rica called Doing Business in a Culture of Sustainability.
Bragging Rights: In 2009, a team of Claremont students won the Net Impact Case Competition, which challenges students to come up with a sustainable plan for a real company. They made the finals in 2010.
Star Tree Hugger: Dr. Michael Crooke, former CEO of Patagonia and former CEO of Revolution Living.
The View: Claremont's nickname is the "City of Trees and Ph.D.s."
MBA Enrollment: 268
Green Curriculum: The Dual MBA/MA Environmental Science & Policy program offers courses like Green Business Management, Management of Environmental Pollutants and Climate Change, Energy and Development.
Bragging Rights: The school of management is housed in a renovated 19th century schoolhouse, which is "very sustainable from a long-term product stewardship perspective."
Star Tree Hugger: Professor Joseph Sarkis is one of the leading international scholars on green supply chain management, as well as sustainability and operations management.
Local Impact: The School of Management has reduced its paper output by 80 percent and has reached out to local companies with programs like the Worcester Sustainable Leaders meeting.
The View: Twenty-three maples and crab apples that blaze during autumn.
MBA Enrollment: 1,293
Green Curriculum: The school's Individual, Business and Society curriculum in the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics focuses on social and sustainability topics, and includes courses like Finance and Sustainability and Business in Society: Doing Well by Doing Good?
Star Tree Hugger: Professor Geoffrey Heal, a member of the EPA's Science Advisory Board, a director of the Union of Concerned Scientists and former commissioner of the Pew Oceans Commission.
Local Impact: Columbia is committed to reducing its carbon emissions 30 percent by 2017, and requires that all its new buildings are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified.
MBA Enrollment: 902
Green Curriculum: Fuqua offers a three-year MBA/Master of Environmental Management joint-degree program and helps place graduates in some of the most sought-after sustainability positions in industry and non-governmental organizations.
Bragging Rights: The annual Duke Conference on Sustainable Business and Social Impact attracts 350 participants each year.
Star Tree Hugger: John Rego, MBA '06, director of sustainability for Sony Entertainment.
Local Impact: Fuqua's Breeden Hall received silver certification from LEED. Students in the Mentored Study in Entrepreneurship program work directly with local companies, including those involved in cleantech, sustainability and environmental products.
The View: The business school is located in the Duke Forest. 'Nuff said.
MBA Enrollment: 265
Green Curriculum: In 2008, Desautels launched a new curriculum that integrates social, environmental and ethical issues into business education using case studies to "ground theory in the real world." The Global Strategy and Leadership concentration focuses most heavily on sustainability issues.
Bragging Rights: The Desautels Business Conference on Sustainability draws participants and speakers from around the globe, including notables such as environmentalist Bill McKibben.
MBA Enrollment: 3,002
Green Curriculum: Stern offers a specialization in Social Innovation and Impact and features classes like Corporate Branding and Corporate Social Responsibility, Introduction to Environmental and Social Sustainability and Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship.
Bragging Rights: Sixty percent of NYU's MBA courses integrate content related to social and environmental impact and stewardship.
Star Tree Hugger: Vijay Vaitheeswaran, alternative energy expert and co-author of Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future, serves as an executive-in-residence.
Local Impact: Stern has officially "gone green" with the creation of a cross-functional task force, the Stern Campus Greening Initiative, which works to devise and implement sustainability initiatives throughout the school at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. SCGI worked with the Stern administration on installing motion sensor-activated lighting, instituting double-sided printing on all campus printers, establishing refillable water stations, installing high-efficiency hand dryers, implementing single-stream recycling and placing new recycling bins throughout the school.
The View: The school overlooks Washington Square Park, NYC's hub of squirrel activity.
MBA Enrollment: 423
Green Curriculum: Portland's MBA program integrates sustainability throughout the curriculum and includes a concentration in sustainability with courses like Product Design and Stewardship, Metrics for Sustainable Enterprise and Social Sustainability.
Bragging Rights: The Sustainable Business Now elective gives students field experience and includes visits and conversations with 10 to 12 leading sustainability-inspired regional businesses.
Star Tree Hugger: Alum Kylene Fickenscher, carbon and sustainability specialist for Advantage IQ, a company that reduces energy expenses and improves environmental performance for Fortune 1000 corporations.
Local Impact: The school's Center for Global Leadership in Sustainability hosts a yearly conference on business and sustainability, operates a case study fellowship and is home to the Social Innovation Incubator, which hooks up local businesses with PSU faculty and students.
The View: Forty-three trees are visible from the front door--as is one of the country's most advanced light rail lines.
MBA Enrollment: 765
Green Curriculum: The school offers a Public Management Certificate in socially responsible business, as well as a joint MS/MBA in Environment and Resources.
Local Impact: This spring, the School of Business opened the Knight Management Center, a LEED Platinum certified eight-building campus designed to reduce energy use 40 percent and generate 12 percent of its own electricity.
University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business
Ann Arbor, Mich.
MBA Enrollment: 1,601
Green Curriculum: Michigan's Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a partnership between the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ross School of Business. Its three-year MS/MBA program includes courses like Green Development, Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Economics.
Bragging Rights: Michigan's Net Impact Chapter was voted chapter of the year three times in a row. The club's goal is to integrate sustainability and social responsibility into the curriculum and community of the business school.
Star Tree Hugger: Professor Andy Hoffman, author of several books on how companies can tackle carbon emissions and climate change.
Local Impact: The school's new home, opened last year, is a LEED Silver certified building that reduces water usage by 55 percent and is 25 percent more efficient than standard construction.
MBA Enrollment: 298
Green Curriculum: Kenan-Flagler offers an MBA with a concentration in sustainable enterprise, which includes a Sustainability Immersion course, the capstone of the MBA.
Bragging Rights: The school's Center for Sustainable Enterprise offers CSE Consulting, an internship program that gives students real-world experience consulting with local companies. It also hosts a Sustainable Venture Capital Investment Competition, in which students present sustainable business plans in an attempt to win seed money.
Star Tree Hugger: Katherine Jennrich, MBA '08, Wal-Mart's senior manager of energy services, who works with suppliers to reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency.
Local Impact: Kenan-Flagler's Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship has aided or mentored more than 40 sustainability-focused companies across North Carolina.
The View: At least 60 trees, blocking the view of the Dean Dome, home of UNC basketball.
University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, Ind.
MBA Enrollment: 344
Green Curriculum: The school offers sustainability courses focused on topics like greening the supply chain and improving environmental accounting. Lecture series, like Ten Years Hence, bring speakers to campus to discuss how environmental concerns can be better incorporated into business practices.
Bragging Rights: A team of Mendoza students won the 2010 Leeds Net Impact Case Competition by designing conservation solutions for Minneapolis utility Xcel Energy.
Star Tree Hugger: Management professor Sarv Devaraj, whose research has found that while companies are talking more about sustainability in their annual reports, their carbon emission levels aren't matching their rhetoric.
Local Impact: The business school has made efforts to get rid of bottled water and paper cups, has reduced paper consumption and dropped energy costs by examining factors like computer settings.
University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business
MBA Enrollment: 642
Green Curriculum: Darden offers a second-year concentration on sustainability, including 19 courses that at least partially focus on environmental topics. Many of the school's signature overseas Global Business Experiences focus on sustainable companies.
Bragging Rights: Darden hosts the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, a group that holds an annual sustainability conference and works to advance rigorous academic research on corporate sustainability issues by providing data, tools and networking opportunities to researchers.
Star Tree Hugger: Professor Andrea Larson, who teaches about sustainability, gave congressional testimony on U.S. trade in green technology.
Local Impact: In 2008, Darden set a goal to become a zero waste, zero carbon enterprise by 2020. The school sources up to 60 percent of its cafeteria food locally during the growing season.
MBA Enrollment: 422
Green Curriculum: The School of Business offers a certificate in Business, Environment and Social Responsibility, a 12-credit track administered in conjunction with the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies.
Bragging Rights: The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council along with students from the UW School of Business recognize local businesses making strides in sustainability through their Green Masters award, given to Wisconsin firms focused on the triple bottom line--people, planet, profit.
Local Impact: In 2008, the business school added a $40.5 million, four-story addition to its home in Grainger Hall, which uses recycled materials, suppresses storm-water runoff and incorporates daylight into 90 percent of the space.
The View: It's on a busy urban street--but just a block away from one of the nicest lake views found at any university.
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