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Bentley on Bloomberg: 4 Reasons Why Teaching Sustainability Matters to Our Economic Future

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Bentley on Bloomberg: 4 Reasons Why Teaching Sustainability Matters to Our Economic Future

We live in a world where climate change is no longer a thing of the future but a reality that poses a legitimate threat to the global economy. Sustainability is no longer just about “being green” and “saving the environment,” but creating economic and social change that will benefit society and business’ bottom line.

So what can we do to prepare tomorrow’s future business leaders to tackle this global problem?

Bentley University President Gloria Larson joined Bloomberg Radio’s Carol Massar and Cory Johnson and guest experts to discuss the importance of teaching sustainability during The Bloomberg Advantage program on Wednesday, October 14.

The show’s guests talked about how to connect business with the arts and sciences disciplines in the classroom, how businesses are implementing more effective sustainable corporate programs and policies, and why knowledge of sustainable practice will help graduates ultimately succeed in the workplace. According to the experts, here are four reasons why students should care about sustainability:
 

1. It is on the Agenda of Global Businesses

According to research conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review, more than 70% of businesses have placed sustainability permanently on their management agendas. More importantly, a subsequent survey in 2013  by the same group reports that more than 60% of companies who have changed their business model to have sustainability on the management agenda have seen an increase in profit. While it is up to the next generation of college graduates to follow through with these goals, it is imperative that higher education gives them the tools to do so.

-Gloria Larson, president, Bentley University (Listen to the full segment here)
 

2. What’s Good for the Environment is Also Good for the Economy

Students have to be fluent in all aspects of sustainability and to understand what constitutes sustainability leadership. Companies and investors are recognizing that what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy are no longer misaligned. It is now in the narrative of most businesses that in order to survive long-term, they need to take care of the environment.

-Anne Kelly, senior program director, Ceres (Listen to the full segment here)
 

3. Sustainability Affects the Entire Business Process

More than ever, sustainability is becoming integrated into the jobs of the entire workforce. At EMC, sustainability is embedded throughout the entire business. While very few employees have “sustainability” directly in their job title, many departments including facilities, communications, human resources, finance, and investor relations are integrating sustainable principles into their everyday work.

-Alyssa Caddle, principal program manager, Office of Sustainability, EMC (Listen to the full segment here)
 

4. Businesses are Specifically Asking for Graduates with Science Literacy

Businesses are calling for science literacy among business school graduates. While they don’t necessarily need scientists, they need business leaders who understand science. As higher education leaders, we need to develop a collaborative curriculum that fuses the sciences with traditional business courses such as economics, finance, and management. As a result, we will have graduates that can apply what they know about science and business to societal sustainability issues.

-Rick Oches, chair of Natural and Applied Science, Bentley University (Listen to the full segment here)
 

This segment is part of an ongoing series with Bentley and its media partner, Bloomberg Radio, that discusses topics related to college graduate career preparedness and higher education, stemming from Bentley’s PreparedU Project.

Learn more about Bentley’s PreparedU Project, which examines challenges facing millennial workers, the companies that employ them and the colleges and universities that prepare them.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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