Sustainable Innovation MBA Programs

Sustainability has become a major buzzword, and students with an MBA in sustainable innovation may qualify for high-paying, high-growth job positions in business and green practices. Read on to learn more about this degree and some potential career options for graduates. Schools offering Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Sustainable Innovation MBA Programs Overview

Sustainable innovation MBA programs usually take two years to complete, but there are also some accelerated options that may take as little as one year. Programs specifically titled sustainable innovation may be difficult to come by, but students seeking to study in this field may be able to receive a comparable education through programs entitled Sustainability MBA, Sustainable Business MBA, or an MBA with a sustainability or environmental management concentration. Core courses for these related programs cover a breadth of business concepts and sustainability principles and practices to prepare the student for sustainable enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Managerial Accounting

Most MBA in Sustainable Innovation programs will require the student to complete some core business courses. An understanding of corporate finance is used to build a practical foundation for sustainable innovation MBA programs. Students will learn about accounting, money management, and concepts like profit and marketing strategies. Sustainability applies to concepts such as cost reduction, profit, and assets/liabilities, so this course will prepare students for responsibly recording accounting data and managing finances in their organization.

Leadership and Ethics

For success as sustainable innovators, students will need to be effective communicators, leaders, and decision-makers. This course covers leadership strategies, collaboration, relationship building, professional communication, and how to make ethical business choices. These skills prepare students for management and entrepreneurial roles.

Sustainable Operations and Green Supply Chains

Students in these programs will also learn about sustainability in the context of business ventures and enterprises. Courses may cover entrepreneurial business models, planning, logistics, and operations. Such courses may prepare the student for starting their own business after graduation.

Principles of Sustainability

Sustainability overlaps many areas of business. This course introduces the philosophies of conservation, resource management, and environmentally friendly practices. A fundamental understanding of sustainability will help students understand their organization's environmental impact so they can operate efficiently in sustainability management or consultant roles.

Green Technologies and Enterprises

In this course, students will utilize project management methods to study the practical operation of environmentally and socially responsible enterprises. They will learn about sustainable business ventures, goods and services, relevant certifications and regulations, and eco-conscious actions such as recycling. This course may also cover renewable energy industries and related policies.

Entrance Requirements for the Sustainable Innovation MBA

Applicants to this program will need a bachelor's degree. Students will also need academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, references, and a statement of purpose along with their application. Preference may be given to applicants with relevant work experience, particularly in entrepreneurship and management roles. Although not required at all schools, high GMAT/GRE scores give students an edge, and non-native English speakers will benefit from high TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Potential Careers for the Sustainable Innovation MBA Graduate

Sustainability Managers

Sustainability managers direct and maintain sustainable actions in their organizations, which may include universities, renewable energy companies, food production companies, and more as industries strive for sustainability. Their duties may include abiding by environmental regulations, making sustainable policies, and analyzing the effects of sustainable initiatives. Generally, a master's is the preferred degree for this role.

Management Analyst

Management analysts develop and implement plans for improving a business's efficiency. As growing numbers of companies and organizations are seeking ways to be more sustainable, a sustainable innovation MBA degree holder may find a lucrative role in which to apply their background in sustainable business concepts and strategies. An additional credential, the Certified Management Consultant designation, may set job seekers apart from competition.

Operations Research Analyst

The operations research analyst solves issues using mathematics and analytical methods. This is a very fast-growing position that will call upon students' knowledge of economics, business strategy, and problem-solving. While a bachelor's degree is usually the requirement, some employers prefer a master's, and a business background supplemented by advanced math and data-related coursework is helpful in this role.


A logistician manages a company's supply chain. Because of their familiarity with business operations and sustainability concepts, a student with a sustainable innovation MBA may be able to make their company's supply chain more efficient and eco-friendly. This job is expected to grow because of the globalized economy.

Sustainability Coordinator

Sustainability coordinators develop and implement eco-friendly programs for their companies or institutions, which may be governmental or non-profit. Thorough knowledge of environmental regulations, sustainability policy, energy usage, and green technologies will benefit the student in this role as they may help businesses devise environmental remediation plans, evaluate the ecological impact of construction projects, and work with companies to ensure green law compliance.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2018-28)*
Sustainability Manager $72, 4200 (2020)** 6% (for all managers)
Management Analyst $83,610 (2018)* 14%
Operations Research Analyst $83,390 (2018)* 26%
Logistician $74,600 (2018)* 5%
Sustainability Coordinator $49,061 (2020)** N/A

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **

Sustainable innovation MBA degree programs combine business and sustainability coursework. They prepare students for potential careers in management, marketing, operations, and sustainability.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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