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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial: At Brandeis, green is the new black

Published: September 5, 2008
Section: Opinions

With the growing imperative to address pressing issues of global warming and sustainability, the Brandeis International Business School has created an MBA in Socially Responsible Business. The “Global Green MBA” will offer courses concerning environmentally friendly business practices as well as require students to complete a field project. This program marks yet another initiative taken to step up Brandeis’ commitment to social responsibility, and IBS should be commended for this endeavor.

The MBA program is a great academic complement to recent initiatives like distributing reusable water bottles, hiring a sustainability coordinator, and switching to single-stream recycling. While making changes to improve campus sustainability will help reduce Brandeis’ ecological footprint, educating students about green business practices will have an even greater impact. The “Global Green MBA” stands out, especially in a time when corporations are associated with errant wastefulness and a disregard for any practice deemed unprofitable.This program, in addition to undergraduate courses from Environmental Economics to Greening the Ivory Tower, shows that Brandeis is expanding its curriculum to acknowledge new challenges. These courses will hopefully produce alumni who apply their education to their future career endeavors, advocating for the environment in the realms of business, law, education, design, and more. The expanded environmentally-friendly curriculum strives to show that business and social responsibility are not mutually exclusive, but can in fact be reconciled.

Even students not currently enrolled in environment-centered courses should appreciate the university’s focus on environmental issues and challenges. We can all take pride in the the fact that Brandeis is increasingly bringing sustainability to the academic foreground. Brandeis is constantly becoming greener academically, architecturally, and administratively. While we’re still a long way away from a solar-powered Sherman and hybrid Branvans, we are fostering a culture of sustainable thinking.

Moreover, after Brandeis suffered a year of bad publicity, it is encouraging to see that we are being recognized for boosting social responsibility instead of for stifling academic freedom. Being green is good press as well as good global citizenship. If we continue this trend, maybe in a few years our front page story will feature hybrid Branvans.