Among the first of its kind in the nation, GreenMBA is one of a handful of graduate business programs throughout the United States focused on corporate social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and social justice in a corporate and business context.
The program’s dynamic, project-oriented learning approach integrates the development of entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills with the building of critical thinking and leadership capacities.
The GreenMBA integrates the stewardship of financial, human, and natural capital – beyond the triple bottom line - into a world class MBA curriculum.
“Students come to us because they want meaningful vocations, not just jobs. Our students want to use their careers to help solve our environmental and social problems,”
John Stayton, Director and Co-Founder, GreenMBA
Students learn how to:
Click on links to read an Associated Press/USA Today story about the GreenMBA program.
More information about the GreenMBA can be found at GreenMBA.com.
GreenMBA alumni Alex Szabo is founder of TheGreenOffice.com, an online office supply store offering socially and environmentally responsible office products. As the San Francisco Chronicle recently noted, TheGreenOffice.com is the first retailer in its industry to stop selling products made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Not only does the production of PVC create and release the toxic chemical dioxin, but PVC products can leak harmful additives during use and disposal. TheGreenOffice is replacing its traditional vinyl binders with thick cardboard ones made from recycled tree pulp. The metal rings can be removed and inserted into a new cardboard cover when the old cover wears out. Other PVC products like pens are being replaced with versions made from materials such as wood, cornstarch or other kinds of plastic.
Husband-and-wife GreenMBA alums Joey and Stacie Shepp run GreenMaven.com, a website focused on environmental and social values. The site focuses on all things green by offering a search engine that yields only green results, as well as a news reader that highlights environmental issues in the news and integrates the best of the green blogs into one, easy-to-read format. The website received mainstream endorsement when Time magazine placed it on the magazine’s list of ‘Top Ten’ websites. The Shepps also operate Earthsite.net, a website design, development, and hosting firm with a mission of building a global network of sustainable websites. The Earthsite team recently partnered with Dominican’s Center for Sustainability to develop and maintain a first-of-its kind online resource focused on environmental, economic, and social issue sustainability programs in San Mateo.
GreenMBA student Meaghan Bertram (pictured at right) is greening the RV industry – one park at a time.
Husband Carl’s family has owned and operated RV parks throughout the North Bay for the past three generations. Several years ago Meaghan, who graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in environmental sciences and design, started recommending some environmentally friendly improvements. She has since helped secure green business certifications for two of the family’s RV parks. In 2008, Meaghan and Carl’s Vineyard RV Park in Vacaville became the first business in unincorporated Solano County to get the green business certification.
The Bertram’s often spread the word to their guests that becoming a green business is both good for the environment and the bottom line. Vineyard’s quarterly newsletter, for example, includes a section called “Green Tip of the Day.”
“Many people don’t like to be preached to about sustainability,” she says. “But many of our guests are really interested when we tell them how they can save propane by turning off the water heater at night or how they can cut their energy consumption simply by extending their RV’s awning to shield windows and refrigerators from the sun.”
In 2008, Meaghan was invited to talk about her work greening RV parks at the annual meeting of The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds in Nashville.
Each semester, students in GreenMBA instructor Susan Briski’s Eco-Commerce Models class work with Bay Area businesses to assess their current readiness and advise them on how they can be more prepared for their Bay Area Green Business certification. Students provide waste audits to show companies how to reduce the amount of waste being sent into landfills, as well as comprehensive facility audits to show a business how to reduce electrical usage, water usage, and the use of hazardous materials.
“Most Bay Area counties have a backlog of businesses that are interested in gaining their green business certification,” Briski says. “However, at this point there is limited funding and human resources available through the counties to develop the capacity to assist them.”
The students begin by conducting a site assessment, which includes a completed Green Business checklist and a solid waste audit with cost-benefit analysis. At the end of the project, students draft a 12 to 21-page green business project report to guide the business through the certification process.
A Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Communities is offered through Dominican’s ‘Pathways’ evening/weekend degree program for adult learners.
The Sustainable Communities major integrates environmental education with cultural analysis, public policy, social action, and hands-on skill building.
“Our students are challenged to think globally and systemically; to clarify value conflicts, motivations, and learning styles; and to plan and carry out imaginative projects,”
Carol Venolia, Instructor,
The core courses examine cultural ecology, global economic literacy and international governance, sustainable land management, and sustainable communities. Hands-on group projects address energy conservation, sustainable agricultural methods, natural building techniques or other activities that allow students to apply the green principles they have been studying.
Read an article in the Marin Independent Journal about the program.
The Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics offers a balanced curriculum designed to prepare students for a wide range of graduate programs, teacher credential programs, careers in government or private environmental organizations, and professional programs in medicine, dentistry, veterinary, etc. The department assists students to develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts of scientific method, careful laboratory technique, the ability to use scientific literature, and sensitivity to the interrelationship of science and human values. Students may choose between four curricular emphases leading to either a BA or BS in the biological sciences: Ecology, Environmental Sciences, General Biology, and Molecular Cell Biotechnology. Three minors offered by the department include biology, chemistry and environmental sciences.
The Green Your MBA sustainable enterprise executive certificate program is designed for professionals with an MBA or mid to senior level management experience who are poised to implement systemic change in their organizations. The program curriculum reflects the pioneering methods and emergent thinking of the best minds in sustainability and it guides participants to the core of today’s sustainability challenges and solutions—and then beyond, to economic and environmental regeneration.
Read about the certificate in the Marin Independent Journal.
More information about the Sustainable Enterprise Certificate can be found here.
Offered through Dominican’s Department of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) and supported by a grant from the Marin Community Foundation, the program targets non-degree-seeking adults wanting to take positive steps to enhance their communities.
The program offers three areas of concentration: Sustainable Careers and Advocacy, Sustainable Education, and Sustainable Lifestyles. Students will gain a high level of knowledge about sustainability issues as well as specific and practical skills to apply this knowledge to a particular area of specialization.
After completing foundational course work in sustainability, certificate participants conduct field-work experiences at Bay Area organizations, such as the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association; the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley; The Bay Institute; Save the Bay; Pacific Gas and Electric Energy Center; and the Environmental Forum of Marin.