Teaching Sustainability in Top Tier Business Schools

Teaching Sustainability in Top Tier Business Schools

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed massive inequality in everything we deal with on a daily basis from health care to food security. The need for moral and ethical leadership has never been more important and critical for the stability of the global economy. Yet, the majority of top tier business schools which are responsible for producing the majority of the next generation of leaders are not quite keeping pace with the growing change. 

Outside of the campuses, the idea that making shareholders wealthier is the one and only priority is no longer popular nor is it accepted. While companies do not always practice what they preach, many global CEOs have already pledge to run their corporations to benefit not only the shareholders, but the stakeholders too! 

At the majority of top tier business schools, however, this shift has barely begun! Although the schools keep releasing states about how their MBA programs help educate leaders who will make a “difference” or “change the world”, too many business school professors remain committed or stuck within a curriculum that largely focuses on maximizing shareholders profits while ignoring global problems such as inequality, climate change or political division. 

Some business schools have already introduced courses on sustainability and climate change. Some are racing to publish research on new ways for companies to make profit all while staying sustainable. The following schools have introduced classes focusing on sustainability: 

=> Cambridge University - Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies 

=> Oxford University - Leading Sustainable Corporations Programme, Social Enterprise Design, Social entrepreneurship and innovation.

=> MIT Sloan - Sustainability Certificate 

=> INSEAD - Business Sustainability and SDG Bootcamp 

=> Duke University - The Fuqua School of Business is home to the research and education center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) which helps organizations and leaders with necessary business skills to promote and achieve social change. 

=> IE Business School - The school offers a number of appropriate sustainability courses and hosts an annual social responsibility forum that explores CSR related issues. 

=> Harvard Business School - Many of the HBS MBA Programs core curriculum classes integrate CSR case studies.