New MBA in Sustainability

Michael Stephens | December 20, 2011


Now Enrolling Students for Fall 2012 in New York City

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — Responding to a revolution in business strategy and to rising student demand, Bard College announces the creation of a new Master of Business Administration in Sustainability Program. Based in New York City, the new MBA in Sustainability responds to the dramatic surge in demand for training in sustainable business practices being created by green start-up businesses and major corporate efforts, such IBM’s Smarter Planet and General Electric’s Eco-Imagination. The two-year program, which will start in fall 2012, is being developed as a partnership between the Bard Center for Environmental Policy (Bard CEP), which grants M.S. degrees in environmental policy and in climate science and policy, and the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, a leading nonpartisan economic policy research organization.

“Bard is proud to make a substantive contribution to such an important field,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein.

The Bard MBA in Sustainability provides a rigorous education in core business principles, as well as sustainable business practices, with a focus throughout on economics, environment, and social equity. Green companies must achieve quality production and performance, efficient operations, sound financial management, deep employee engagement, responsible and effective marketing, creative responses to changing economic conditions, flexible strategies, and continuous innovation. In courses on leadership, operations, marketing, finance, economics, and strategy, students will be constantly challenged to integrate three goals: profit, continuous reduction in ecological impact, and stakeholder engagement.

The Bard MBA is structured around five weekend intensives every term (four in New York City and one in the Hudson Valley), with additional instruction between intensives. The program’s innovative residency structure—with classes held over long weekends once a month—will enable students and professionals from across the East Coast to attend and will allow regional and national leaders in business sustainability to engage students in the classroom. The New York City campus will become a laboratory for first-year students, who will participate in yearlong consultancies with New York–area businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. Bard MBA faculty and guest lecturers will include leading scholars in business, economics, and environmental policy from Bard’s full-time faculty as well as cutting-edge practitioners in business sustainability, corporate and nonprofit leaders, journalists, and consultants.

“The Bard MBA is one of only a handful of programs around the world that builds sustainability into the curriculum from the ground up,” said Bard CEP Director Eban Goodstein, who will direct the new program. Goodstein, who has been working with General Motors to refine its own sustainability strategy—seeking competitive advantage by developing low-emissions transportation options—recently took the stage at the company’s headquarters in Detroit to speak to 1,000 GM employees about a sustainable clean-energy future. “It’s not something we would have imagined as recently as four years ago. Sustainability is mainstream, and increasingly a key factor in corporate strategy,” Goodstein said. “It’s time for business education to catch up.”

For more information about Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability, please visit


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