Learn sustainability skills and principles that have the power to transform organizations.
In 1987, the United Nations Brundtland Commission defined sustainability as “meeting the present needs of society without compromising the needs of future generations.” Today, more organizations recognize their role in conserving the planet’s resources and improving the communities in which they do business. They need professionals with the skills and knowledge to develop strategic and successful sustainable initiatives.
The online Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management prepares students for sustainability careers by teaching business and organizational topics within marketing and communications, financial and managerial accounting, supply chain management, information systems, economics, and organizational behavior, through a sustainability lens. The curriculum further develops students’ knowledge of scientific and ecological concepts that aid in understanding and problem solving.
In addition to business, you’ll explore sustainability-focused topics, such as:
- Environmental science and policy,
- Agricultural systems,
- Triple-bottom-line accounting,
- Ecology and biodiversity,
- Renewable energy,
- Natural resource management,
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR),
- Climate change.
The potential for positive change exists in every industry—agriculture, forestry, mining and extraction, marketing and communications, education, supply chain, healthcare, entrepreneurship, investing and finance, manufacturing, construction, waste management, water conservation, public policy and administration, and more. Students with a wide range of work experience and education have found success in the program.
UW Sustainable Management offers online certificates in Environmental Sustainability and Sustainable Enterprise. The certificates are an ideal way to expand your skills and knowledge of sustainability through four courses completed entirely online.
Accelerating Toward Net-zero: Job Growth in Sustainability Expands
The sustainability profession is at a pivotal point in its evolution. Although widely regarded as an emerging career, “green jobs”, those that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, natural resource conservation, and waste management, have been around for over a decade.
So, what does the job market for sustainability professionals look like? To answer that question, we need to consider a few things:
- Stories that illustrate a changing environment dominate the headlines more than ever: extreme weather, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warming oceans, food security, biodiversity loss, social inequity, and supply chain disruption.
- “Nearly 60 percent of consumers surveyed are willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact” according to a 2020 survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value in association with the National Retail Federation.
- More organizations recognize their role in conserving the planet’s resources, driven by consumer demand for sustainable products and the need for risk mitigation. Take the fashion industry for example: “Over 50% of C-Suite executives say consumer demand is driving their pursuit of sustainability,” according to a new report.
Businesses are paying attention and increasingly playing a role in establishing solutions. Companies that want to stay competitive will find it difficult to ignore consumer sentiment and negative business impacts of inaction. They are looking for professionals that can help them transform the way they do business.
While there is not a universal definition of what qualifies as a sustainability job, professional organizations, like GreenBiz and Sustainable Brands, offer insight on job trends and growth. According to GreenBiz, we’re at that decisive moment, when job opportunities are increasing as goals expand. For example, “sustainable fashion was the fastest-growing green skill … with an average growth rate of 90.6% (LinkedIn)” and the greening of roles not typically considered when one thinks of sustainability, like technical sales rep or facilities manager, is happening.
This is an exciting time to embark on a career in sustainability. With an expanding array of industries recognizing the need to integrate sustainability goals in their business practices, every job is a green job.
RELATED: Sustainability Careers and Salaries
Who Should Apply?
In the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management students learn business principles and skills through a lens of sustainability. The program was designed for those seeking a career that confronts environmental concerns, like climate change, pollution, and food security, by transforming how the world does business.
Courses are completed entirely online, in asynchronous format, with zero on-campus, virtual, or in-person meeting requirements. You can watch lectures, participate in online forums with your classmates, and although assignments have deadlines, you can do homework whenever it’s convenient for you—all course content is accessible online from any device. We also provide optional opportunities for students to connect virtually with their peers, faculty, and professionals.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for the program is a flat fee of $440 per credit whether you live in Wisconsin or out of state, and financial aid is available for students who qualify. UW Sustainable Management Scholarships are offered every fall and spring semester for new and current students. Learn more about tuition and financial aid.
UW System Collaboration
UW Sustainable Management faculty have expertise in a wide range of fields, including:
- Water resource management
- Sustainable agriculture
- Environmental science
- Law and ethics
- Natural resource management
Whether online or on campus, University of Wisconsin programs have a reputation for delivering world-class education and student support. Accreditation is your assurance that you will graduate with skills that are relevant to your field and valued by employers. The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management is approved by the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Management is a program partner with:
Have questions about UW Sustainable Management online programs? Talk to an enrollment adviser.