Learning from Canada’s Top-Ranked Undergraduate Sustainability Program

Learning from a Top-Ranked Undergraduate Sustainability Program

Directors of the Environment and Business program at University of Waterloo describe its structure and offer advice on improving sustainability education.
Chelsea Hicks-Webster May 1, 2017
Environment and Business is a degree program developed by the School for Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. Sustainability publishing company Corporate Knights has ranked the program number one in Canada, from 2007 to 2011, for its integration of sustainability in undergraduate business education.

Corporate Knights rates programs based on sustainability-related institutional support, student-led initiatives, and coursework. The methodology is adapted from the Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes Report.

Corporate Knights praised Environment and Business for its required sustainability-focused courses and its eight-month student research and consulting project.

A Varied Curriculum

The curriculum has three course types: core business, environmental studies and integrated studies.
In five years, the program has grown from 260 to over 600 students. About 145 students enter the program annually.

Program Benefits

The Environment and Business program has led to positive outcomes for the school and its stakeholders, according to Neil Craik, director of SEED:

Advice on Replication

Neil Craik and Jennifer Lynes, program director for Environment and Business, offer this advice on improving undergraduate sustainability education:

More Information

Visit the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development or contact Neil Craik or Jenn Lynes for more information on the Business and Environment program.