Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad or an economist - Sir David Attenborough
Our world has enough for each person's need, but not for his greed.
- Mahatma Gandhi
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 can damage physical and social ecology of a local community, it is also important that students have a vision for how a corporation can aspire to be both responsible and competitive. Rollins proposes to establish a new model for undergraduate education in this area by establishing a concentration of courses that examines how corporations can enhance their competitiveness by pursuing a strategy of sustainable development.
The curriculum is built on the premise that sustainable development means reconciling the need for economic growth, particularly in developing nations, with the related problems of the degradation of natural resources and destruction of the social fabric. Rather than pit environmentalists against corporate leaders, the goal of this set of courses is to help students understand how corporations, environmental organizations and local and national governments, might work together to solve vexing problems.
Learning Objectives for the Minor:
(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.