February 9, 2023

Business Schools Try New Approaches to Sustainability

The Financial Times recently highlighted educators’ efforts to include sustainability in the curriculum.


With a $1.1 billion donation, Stanford’s new Doerr School of Sustainability is bringing a unique approach to infusing sustainability into the curriculum: the Doerr school will partner with different disciplines throughout the Stanford campus including Stanford GSB’s MBA program. Other institutions are also innovating. For example, during the 2021-22 academic year, IE University in Madrid provided 12,712 hours of sustainability-related content, which accounted for nearly a quarter of all subjects taught across all its schools and programs. At INSEAD, the proportion of students taking at least one sustainability-linked elective has grown from 25% to 66% in the past decade. At Berkeley Haas, about a third of the 70-odd faculty who teach the school’s core MBA courses have integrated environmental or social sustainability issues.

Finally, alliances are another way business schools are injecting sustainability into teaching content. The Responsible Research in Business & Management network, founded by scholars at 23 university-based business schools, is an alliance network to help boost expertise in teaching sustainability. Another alliance, the Impact & Sustainable Finance faculty consortium is a network of experts brought together by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, which has more than 370 members across 210 universities in 39 countries.

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