UNC Kenan-Flagler’s History of Sustainable Enterprise

kenan flagler sustainable enterprise

The University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School is celebrating its 15th anniversary as a global leader in sustainable enterprise. The school began its focus on the triple-bottom-line approach – measuring success in terms of financial profitability, ecological integrity and social equity – in 1999.

It was one of the first business schools to offer a comprehensive curriculum in sustainable enterprise that includes experiential learning, enrichment activities and career development. Today, over 550 MBA students have graduated with a concentration in sustainable enterprise and are pursuing a wide range of careers.

Leading the school’s work in education, research and outreach is the Center for Sustainable Enterprise (CSE), founded in 2001. “Sustainable enterprise is a strategic strength for UNC Kenan-Flagler,” says Al Segars, CSE faculty director, PNC Bank Distinguished Professor and chair of strategy and entrepreneurship.

Recognition of the school’s educational leadership in this area includes top rankings. Every “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” ranking by The Aspen Institute has rated UNC Kenan-Flagler among the very best in the world. The Financial Times consistently ranks the MBA program among the top 10 in corporate social responsibility and ethics, and Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program No. 7 globally for sustainability.

CSE initiatives with global reach include the award-winning Sustainability Leadership Capstone course, a unique model of experiential learning; the Investing for Impact Competition, in which students apply VC skills to assess socially and environmentally sustainable firms; and the MBA and undergraduate Net Impact clubs, which have received the gold chapter standing for the last three years.

“The commitment of UNC Kenan-Flagler to embedding business stewardship for the planet in the classroom experience is evident in their high performance on the Beyond Grey Pinstripes rankings of MBA programs,” says Judith Samuelson, executive director of the Business and Society Program at The Aspen Institute. “Congratulations to UNC Kenan-Flagler on 15 years of demonstrating a commitment to excellence in business education in this important arena.”

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