The Emergence and Growth of the Green MBA in Sustainability Development


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  • Title: The Emergence and Growth of the Green MBA in Sustainability Development
  • Author(s): Darrell Norman Burrell, Sadaf Ulomi, Paul Ventura
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability Education
  • Keywords: Green MBA, Sustainability Development, Green Business
  • Volume: 8
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2013
  • ISSN: 2325-1212 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1220 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Burrell, Darrell Norman , Sadaf Ulomi, and Paul Ventura. 2013. "The Emergence and Growth of the Green MBA in Sustainability Development." The International Journal of Sustainability Education 8 (4): 1-12. doi:10.18848/2325-1212/CGP/v08i04/59463.
  • Extent: 12 pages


Consider the need for business programs to create leaders that focus on more than just profits at any cost, operations without ethical considerations, strategies without environmental consciousness, and business activities without social concerns. As public policy professionals, NGO leaders and activists showing concern about the poor, the environment, and the economy create the critical need for new approaches and ideas in the study of business. The need for business programs that create leaders that are more dimensional has never been more valuable. The emergence of the green Master of Business Administration (MBA) in sustainability development provides students a chance to study business from different perspectives, and often via different delivery formats. In these programs, students do spend a lot of time studying how to improve a company's bottom line, but also learn to focus on valuing diversity, learning international cultural competence, improving corporate environmental impacts, and addressing community issues. Now the green field of sustainability is blossoming. Colleges are funneling money into new degree programs, building campus sustainability centers, and finding many ways to build the sustainability into existing programs. In application, new MBA programs in sustainable development have core themes in business, but also provide subject matter and curriculum that ventures into areas like environmental health, sociology, public policy, agriculture, biodiversity, economics, energy, public health, natural resources, and social psychology. These programs appeal to business undergraduates and also attract students that come from undergraduate backgrounds in biology, engineering, health sciences, environmental science, and even chemistry. These students look to these programs to help them understand how to use the study of sustainability and business to solve community, public policy, and societal problems.