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MBA Career in Sustainability

Sustainability is much more than just a buzzword for the industry today.

One option is to go ahead with an MBA program focussed on sustainability. But is it all, here's a roadmap to build a successful career in sustainability, the MBA courses that offer the knowledge base, certifications requisite for the same and aspirations that one can plan ahead.

Which are the Global MBA Programs that offer a specialisation in sustainability ?

1. MIT Sloan School of Management,


3. Said School of Business,

4. Fuqua school of business,

5. Harvard Business School,

6. IE Business School,

7. Cornell SC Johnson School of Business - Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise,

8. Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus includes the UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education into their MBA curriculum.

9. London Business School

What are the MBA programs in India which cater to the sustainability sector?

  1. One year MBA Programs like ISB MBA caters to the basic framework of management skills. Combined with deep sector knowledge and certifications, it is the best track for a global career.

  2. IIM Lucknow - Post Graduate Programme Sustainable Management (PGPSM)



  5. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management - MBA – Energy and Environment

  6. SPJAIN School of Global Management

  7. MBA ( Business Sustainability ) - TERI SAS

What are the skills of a professional in Sustainability?

Working in sustainability practically involves ensuring that the clients take sufficient measures to certify with the norms like Green Building norms like:

  1. CaGBC - Canada Green Building Council

  2. BOMA - Building Owners and Managers Association International,

  3. LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

One part of the skill set in sustainability means that a professional understands the requirements and the means to comply to the norms laid out by these bodies.

A sustainability professional would on a normal work day work with:

  1. External sustainability reporting frameworks and standards

a. Global Reporting Initiative,

b. SASB - Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

c. CDP - a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for environmental impact.

2. Monitoring trends,

3. Evaluating changes/impacts

4. Consulting on ESG - Environment Social Governance issues and

5. Developing ESG - Environment Social Governance strategies

6. Data governance tools and reporting

7. Data risk mitigation

8. Collaboration, teamwork and relationship building skills to influence and collaborate across multiple levels, cultures and functions in the organisation

What are the qualifications expected by the recruiters for a sustainability profile?

1. Bachelor's Degree in Sustainability, Finance, Environmental Science, Engineering or related technical field

2. MBA or Masters preferred

3. Working knowledge of OSHA safety and health regulations in general industry (29 CFR Part 1910) - Required for Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) track

What are the certifications that support in a career in sustainability?

  1. Certified Manager of Commercial Properties by BOMA International

  2. LEED Green Associate

  3. LEED Green AP

  4. LEED v4.1 education

  5. CaBGC Zero Carbon standard development certification

  6. Andy Kesteloo Memorial Student Project Award

  7. BOMA Energy Efficiency Program

  8. BOMA Managing Industrial Properties Course

  9. SASB - Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential

  10. Biosafety Professional - Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) track

  11. Certified Biosafety Professional by the American Biological Safety Association - for Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) track

  12. Certified Safety Professional (CSP) - for Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability (EHSS) track

What are some career options for sustainability professionals?

  1. Sustainability Analyst - Minimum of 2-5 years of green building certification work experience.

  2. Sustainability Consultant - 4-7 years of related experience necessary, or relevant post graduate degree in lieu of work experience

  3. Manager of Sustainability Data Governance - 7+ years' work experience, exposure in CPG industry

  4. Senior Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability Specialist (EHSS) - 7+ years' experience in EHS field with progressive roles and responsibilities

  5. Sustainable Finance Director - around 8 years experience in ESG/Sustainability Strategy; Climate Risk Modelling Sustainable Finance- including Impact Investing; and, ESG Investments; Green Bonds and Sustainability/ESG Reporting.

What's happening in India for Sustainability?

These are some organizations actively participating in building the framework for education and policies for sustainability in India.

1. Centre for Environment Education (CEE) which is the nodal agency for implementing UNDESD in India;

2. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI);

3. Bharati Vidya Peeth (BVP);

4. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE);

5. World Wide fund (WWF);

6. National Council for Science Museums (NSCM)

7. The Climate Reality Project, India

8. Mobius Foundation

9. Foundation For Environmental Education (FEE)

10. Centre for Environment Communication (CEC)

11.The Grantham Institute - Climate Change and Environment

12. Global Foundation for Advancement of Environment and Human Wellness

13. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots

14. SEED (Society for Environment Education & Development)

15. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

16. UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

17. TERRE Policy Centre

We hope this has got you started in terms of what this career option has to offer and the kind of work one can expect in sustainability. If you want to discuss further whether this fits your profile get in touch with us.

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