The world’s best green business schools


This list of leading MBAs with a strong sustainability component is taken from a number of sources. One is the “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” project of the Aspen Institute, a progressive think tank based in Washington DC, which focused on business schools in the US. Another is the Canadian Corporate Knights project, which publishes another set of rankings with a more international flavour. Bloomberg Businessweek publishes another US-based league table. We compiled our meta-list of 10 courses by taking the schools mentioned in these tables and adding a weighting for non-American institutions to arrive at a wider geographical spread.

University of Exeter Business School, UK

The course: One-year full time

Number of places: 30

Entry requirement: A “good first degree” and a minimum three years’ work experience

Tuition fee: £22,500

Notes: High sustainability content, with a strong focus on reducing the environmental and social impact of business

IE Business School, Madrid

The course: One-year full time

Number of places: 619 (33 per cent acceptance rate)

Entry requirement: IE looks for students “who have demonstrated great success in their careers no matter what their background”

Tuition fee: €61,900 (40 per cent of students receive financial assistance)

Notes: International students make up 90 per cent of the intake. Ideally, candidates will be “unconventional thinkers” with five years’ work experience


Johnson Business School (Cornell University, New York)

Number of places: 284

Entry requirement: By interview. This year, 12 per cent of those who applied were accepted

Fee: $112,000

Notes: Johnson School of Business offers a wide variety of green options, including an MBA specialty in sustainable global enterprise and green business electives such as entrepreneurship in the emerging sustainable economy


KAIST (Seoul, South Korea)

The course: Two-year full time

Number of places: 523

Entry requirement: Undergraduate degree. No interview and no formal work experience requirement, but entrants have an average of seven years’ experience

Tuition fee: $43,000 (for full programme)

Notes: The top Asian school in the Corporate Knights listing, and according to the Financial Times, a degree from this school leads to a 76 per cent salary uplift


Copenhagen Business School (University of Copenhagen)

The course: 28-month course

Number of places: 689

Entry requirement: An undergraduate degree

Tuition fee: Total cost of £1,900

Notes: A large business school with 748 full time academic staff and a wide variety of business degrees. The MBA (or Master of Science in General Management as it’s called) is the cheapest in our listing, and the best sustainable option in continental Europe according to Corporate Knights


Mannheim Business School (University of Mannheim)

The course: One-year full time

Number of places: 56

Entry requirement: 3.0-3.4 GPA; 600 GMAT; three years’ world experience; two interviews

Tuition fee: $42,500

Notes: Highest ranked German course in the Corporate Knights listing, and one of the toughest to gain access to, with 12 applicants for each place


Palumbo Donahue School of Business, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh

The course: One-year full time, two-year part time

Number of places: 32 full time, 231 part time

Entry requirement: A GMAT score of 500 or higher is preferred

Tuition fee: $53,000

Notes: Duquesne is a private Catholic university. This MBA is one of the most explicitly sustainable options, has an acceptance rate of 83 per cent, and is the top-ranked US course in the Corporate Knights table

Ross School of Business (University of Michigan)

The course: Two-year full time

Number of places: 447

Entry requirement: Applications are reviewed “holistically”

Fee: $120,000

Pros: Top ranked in the Bloomberg Businessweek green MBA listing. Some 90 per cent of entrants are offered a job within three months of graduating


Schulich School of Business
(York University, Toronto)

The course: Four academic terms for the full-time course, 10 for part time

Number of places: 272

Entry requirement: Grade B average in the last two years of the undergraduate degree and two years of work or life experience; GMAT score of 600-plus; four essays; interview

Tuition fee (including supplementary costs): About $85,000 for four terms for an international student

Notes: Another top-ranked school in the Beyond Grey Pinstripes listing. Its sustainability credentials are boosted by the Centre for Excellence in Responsible Business


Stanford Graduate School of Business (Stanford University)

The course: Two-year full time

Number of places: 400

Entry requirement: Undergraduate degree, two essays. Rejected applicants welcome to reapply

Tuition fee (including study trip): $200,000-plus

Notes: One of the top MBAs in the Beyond Pinstripes list, and according
to Forbes magazine, the world’s most expensive. It accepts fewer than seven per cent of applicants, which means it is also the most selective



Photo credit: Stadt Braut from Flickr

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David is a freelance journalist based in London specialising in business and politics. For many years, he worked as the chief sub-editor of a magazine in London, before going freelance as a feature writer. A passionate history buff, he is working on his first novel set during the 1870 siege of Paris.