Wisconsin Offers Sustainable Management Degree

The University of Wisconsin-Extension is offering the nation's first online Sustainable Management bachelor's degree, according to a May 12 press release. UW-Extension has brought together the strengths of four different University of Wisconsin campuses—UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, and UW-Superior—to craft a degree completion program that equips workers with the management skills they will need to lead a sustainable business strategy.

The two-year degree program takes the theories of sustainability and makes them tangible in the business setting. It's a hands-on, problem-solving degree. By teaching the fundamentals of the Triple Bottom Line, graduates can immediately start helping their companies create profits, preserve the environment, and improve their surrounding communities. Current professionals who might see value in this program include:

  • The Facilities Manager who has to compare the costs of solar panels to clean coal to biofuels to determine not only the total currency cost but also the carbon cost;
  • The Plant Manager who must manage stormwater run-off in an environmentally sensitive way and also install geothermal systems that use the Earth's temperature to heat and cool the plant;
  • The Human Resources Director who must look at the long-term impact of today's labor decisions on the welfare of the community; and
  • The Product Manager who must figure out a new paint technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions or evaluate existing packaging processes against today's sustainability standards.

The Sustainable Management degree was crafted in close partnership with companies such as Johnson Controls, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak, Quad Graphics, FedEx, SC Johnson, Kohl's, Veolia Environmental Services, and Modine Manufacturing. The 21-course, 63-credit degree is unique in that it's the first online degree to combine the full resources of four nationally recognized campuses with a minimal carbon footprint and the personal flexibility that online learning has always offered. Courses are available and accessible wherever there's an Internet connection.

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