At most academic institutions, students and faculty in the area of environmental studies have no formal contact with or connection to students and faculty in the area of business. In fact, it is not unusual for these two areas to be defined in contradistinction to each other, as if one must be an advocate either for the protection of natural resources from overuse and misuse or for the market strategies that maximize productivity and return on investment. This dichotomy is misleading, however, insofar as it assumes that business practices and policies that are sustainable in the long-run cannot also ensure a corporation’s competitiveness. Whereas it is important that students understand and be able to assess how corporate behavior often damages the physical and social ecology of local communities, it is also important that students have a vision for how a corporation can aspire to be both responsible and competitive. Rollins has established a new model for undergraduate education in this area by establishing a concentration of courses that examines how development and conservation can be intrinsically linked to insure sustainable development.
1. A clear sense of the basic principles and relationships of ecology and environmental protection.
2. An understanding of the nature of economies, economic growth and the impact of markets, prices, and profits on the behavior of firms.
3. An understanding of the emergence and consequences of globalization.
4. A thorough understanding of the political economy of economic growth across the range of different developing societies.
5. A detailed sense of the increasing role for international cooperation in managing environmental problems.
6. A clear sense of the political economy of transnational firms--how they interact and bargain with the governments of developing societies.
7. The ability to evaluate the incentives for firms to support sustainable development.
8. A thorough understanding of the range of behaviors of transnational firms in developing societies.
9. The ability to evaluate the ecological consequences of the behaviors of transnational firms.
10. A thorough sense of the large literature attempting to measure sustainable development, including indicators of corporate practices.
11. A tangible sense of the impact of firms on environments through site visits, interviews, and personal research.