The minor is officially available starting in the fall 2012 term, but interest is so high that there are already 18 students pursuing the minor and taking classes toward the requirements this spring.
The minor consists of seven required courses and one elective from the business, biology and sociology disciplines. The competitive differentiator of this minor is that it is open to students in any major across campus. The result will be classes with a broad diversity of background to tackle this complex subject that integrates an organization’s social, environmental and economic capital. Another plus will be the generation of graduates in degrees other than business that will have five business courses in their educational portfolio, four that are new to the curriculum this spring.
According to A UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO study from 2010, 93 percent of businesses believe that sustainability issues will be critical to the future of their business. The sustainability minor is designed to prepare students for this new mindset no matter the type of workplace they enter.
The main objectives of the minor are to develop a strategic understanding of economic, environmental and social issues and the operational tools used to implement a “Triple Bottom Line” culture.
Associate Professor of Finance Steven Dunn, who is heading the new minor, said the program is an amalgamation of topics based upon industry leaders, NGOs, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the United Nations’ Principles of Responsible Management and the input of many regional businesses.
“This new minor will arm students with the ability to address difficult problems and take an active role in developing sustainability solutions for their organizations, the region and state of Wisconsin” Dunn said.