Three New Sustainability Courses for Graduate Students Take Off
By Christina Meinberg, CRB Associate Director
In addition to our long-standing course offerings in socially responsible investing and sustainability strategy, CRB is engaging new professors and teaching three brand new MBA classes in 2013/14 that can be applied across all functions, industries and career paths. Here are the highlights:
Corporate Governance (Spring 2014)
Popular CRB Professor Lloyd Kurtz will be teaching a new course, “Corporate Governance: Shareholders, Stakeholders and Corporate Control”. This course will provide a high level overview of the role of boards, shareholders and governing corporations, as well as the forces that impact financial decision making and reporting.
Through readings, discussion, case discussions and guest lecture perspectives, students will explore the following:
- Who rates corporate governance practices, and how are the ratings compiled?
- How are board members (who are legally bound to represent the interests of equity investors) able to represent the interests of numerous other stakeholders, including customers, employees, the government and society at large?
- What is the legal and regulatory framework governing financial decisions and reporting?
- Why do financial scandals crop up in some companies and not others?
Intrapreneurship for Sustainability (Fall 2013)
Another new course debuting this fall, “Intrapreneurship for Sustainability: Driving Change Within Organizations” will be taught by the Head of Sustainability Solutions at Autodesk, Dr. Emma Stewart. In this already near-capacity class, Stewart will bring her expertise in anticipating (rather than reacting to) market trends in order to introduce new corporate strategies, product lines and internal processes and procedures that have both an environmental and business benefit.
Business and Natural Resources (Spring 2013)
With support from The Dow Chemical Company, a new course taught this semester entitled “Business and Natural Resources: Sustainable Use of Ecosystems” brought together graduate students and faculty from Haas with those from the College of Natural Resources and featured a mix of case briefs and applied projects. Students learned economic and ecological concepts, and then applied decision-making frameworks and tools in class to solve practical problems facing business and society.
Here is just a sampling some of the real-world assessments students completed in class:
- Project wherein New York City completed a watershed conservation project instead of building a new treatment plant, saving $4.5B+ over 10 years from ecosystems services such as clean water.
- A valuation of honey bees for almond growers, which involved quantifying the value that honey bees add to U.S. crops, as well as thinking through how to mitigate and manage upstream and downstream supply chain risks such as Colony Collapse disease.
- Life cycle assessment project evaluating the greenhouse gas emissions of a conventional tomato farm using synthetic fertilizers and transporting goods internationally compared with a farm that produced tomatoes organically and for local consumption. This course will be repeated next spring – stay tuned to hear more and become a part of it!
For ongoing course and project information and updates, visit the CRB website.