Marlboro College

NewsMarlboro Launches MBA In Managing For Sustainability

New Program Part of Movement toward Multiple Bottom Line Education

For more information visit the Marlboro MBA Web site.

Brattleboro, VT – Responding to the need to educate business leaders who understand the value of people and planet as well as profits, the Marlboro College Graduate Center is now accepting applications for its new MBA in Managing for Sustainability. Inaugural classes begin January 24, 2008.

The two-year master of business administration program takes a socially and environmentally responsible approach toward business management, teaching students to look at the “triple-bottom-line” of people, planet and profits.

By launching this MBA, Marlboro president Ellen McCulloch-Lovell notes, " Our era is struggling with climate change, a global economy, human migration, poverty, war and sharp cultural differences. We also are experiencing a resurgence of certain values: individual rights, the preservation of communities, stewardship for the Earth. Just as families try to recycle and reduce energy use, colleges in our region also are "going green." So too are business degrees -- pushed by necessity and by businesses themselves as they discover that sound environmental practices and attention to employees and their communities are both good practice and profitable. That is why our graduate center started the MBA in Managing for Sustainability."

Prospective students are encouraged to apply for The Harold Grinspoon Scholarship, to be awarded to the MBA program student who has best demonstrated his or her potential as a leader in for-profit entrepreneurship prior to joining the MBA program, and has a demonstrated need for financial assistance for program costs. This $10,000 scholarship will be for use during the 2007-2008 academic year. Harold Grinspoon is a Marlboro College alumnus, successful businessman, and supporter of entrepreneurship education. See the MBA web site for more application details.

“The Marlboro MBA will teach sound business practices that every organization can use, while instilling a commitment to sustainability that our planet desperately needs,” explains Program Director Ralph Meima. “We want our graduates to run organizations in ways that value employees, respect local cultures and preserve the environment.”

Bart Goodwin of BCI Partners, a venture capital investment management company, adds, “In this volatile economy of globalization, regulation and diminishing resources, companies are looking for managers who are systems thinkers capable of making values-based decisions.”

Net Impact, an organization of MBA programs, business students and professionals, surveyed its members and found that 88 percent of respondents wanted to learn more about the concept of environmental sustainability while pursuing their MBA education, and 79 percent said they would seek a socially responsible job.

The Marlboro MBA is expected to be of particular interest to professionals involved in fair trade, organic products, renewable energy and environmental technology and services; persons pursuing CSR careers; social entrepreneurs; and those seeking to learn how climate change and fossil fuel scarcity may create new socially responsible business opportunities in the future.

Current scientific and policy debates about climate change, “peak oil” and other natural resource depletion topics are driving concerns about the sustainability of business and the future of many industries to new levels of intensity.


Business and academic leaders reportedly estimate the ‘green economy’ now represents more than $230 billion annually in U.S. sales of socially and environmentally responsible products and trillions more in responsible investments.

“The world is changing and MBA students are seeking more up to date courses than most other programs offer: new curriculum that prepares them for an increasingly competitive global landscape while teaching them how to use business as a tool for positive change ,” says Marlboro College President Ellen McCulloch-Lovell.

Marlboro’s program will build on the traditional rigor of a business program by weaving an understanding of sustainability into every course.

Meima explains that “each class will be influenced by a recognition that long-term economic viability depends on an appropriate mix of customer satisfaction, stockholder value creation, a qualified and empowered workforce and the support of communities and other stakeholders.”


The MBA in Managing for Sustainability is the latest innovative degree offered by the Marlboro College Graduate Center. In 1997, the Graduate Center became the first in the country to offer master’s degrees in Internet technology management.

“The Marlboro MBA faculty aren’t simply excellent teachers, they are leading thinkers and practitioners in the world of sustainability,” says McCulloch-Lovell. “They are eager to help our program create a new generation of leaders in this field.”

Taught in person and online, students will meet at the Marlboro College Graduate Center in Brattleboro for four days each month. Students will collaborate as a team, developing camaraderie and a sense of community that will carry over into discussions outside of class.

With its southeastern Vermont location, the Marlboro MBA program will represent a natural extension of the state’s commitment to social good, environmental preservation and quality of life. Vermont is already home to an unusually large number of businesses committed to sustainability, including Ben & Jerry’s, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Gardener’s Supply, Seventh Generation, NRG Systems, ForesTrade, and Chroma Technologies. In addition, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility is the largest and oldest statewide organization of its type in the United States.


As program director for the Marlboro MBA, Ralph Meima brings to the college an extensive international academic and business background.

Meima most recently taught as an assistant professor of organizational management at the School for International Training. Prior to that, he spent 14 years based in Sweden, where he operated a consulting firm and managed international research projects for the European Commission, the Bank of Sweden and other industry clients.

Meima, who is fluent in four languages, received his BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, MA from Johns Hopkins University, MBA from the Wharton School of Business and PhD from Lund University in Sweden.

He has written several books and articles on environmental management and policy and is a member of the international planning board of the Greening of Industry Network and active in Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.

Meima’s background and education make him an excellent resource in such topic areas as corporate social responsibility, civil governance, sustainable industrial development, renewable energy, economic impacts of climate change and experiential education.

'"My Turn: The Greening of the MBA" by Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, President, Marlboro College. For more information call Lisa Christensen in Marlboro's communications office at 802-258-9259 or visit our Web site at


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