Sustainable Business program

Undergrad minor

Do business while making a positive impact on the environment and society.

Studying sustainable business will give you the knowhow to promote environmental, economic and social sustainability in your future career. You will learn how to be a good steward of natural resources, even while pursuing business objectives.

In UW-La Crosse’s Sustainable Business Minor, students discover how sustainable business practices can be incorporated into organizational operating models and supply chains. They identify ways to integrate environmental, social and financial concepts to create a more sustainable world.

Sustainable business careers

A sustainable business minor can complement any major. Graduates typically follow their major field of study in finding their career path. The sustainability minor provides a knowledge base that allows them to integrate sustainability strategies and operations to support an organization’s success. Some may eventually land positions specifically devoted to sustainability initiatives. 

What distinguishes the sustainable business minor?

Explore diverse avenues of sustainability

Students have the flexibility to adapt the minor to fit their interests whether those are focused on public health, ethnic and racial studies, the environment or other areas.

Make community connections

Many courses in the minor include a connection to local or regional business and industry. Students regularly work on client projects with area business partners, take field trips to businesses to understand their sustainability practices, or hear from a local or regional guest speakers.

Apply business solutions to social and environmental issues

Students are asked to think innovatively about the role of businesses and how they operate for, not against, our natural environment. By understanding business sustainability, students can help identify new, more environmentally-friendly strategies to promote organizational growth and operations.

Learn in-demand knowledge

Businesses continue to be interested in finding employees who understand social responsibility or sustainability more broadly. Businesses are increasingly using the United Nations Sustainable Development goals to craft strategies to incorporate sustainable business into their practices. The UN Global Compact includes over 12,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories, making it “the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.”

Faculty are engaged in local sustainability efforts

Faculty who teach in the minor are engaged with sustainability initiatives in the greater La Crosse community. This has led to opportunities for students such as visits to sustainability institute conferences, sustainability chats with local businesses and more.

Interdisciplinary courses lead to deeper understanding of complex issues

The sustainable business minor offers a wide range of courses such as Anthropology of Food, Social Entrepreneurship and Cultural Resources Management. They are taught in a way that helps students make connections between each other, between ideas, and between them and the community. This structure helps students develop a multi-disciplinary approach to solving complex issues and problems.

Part of a university-wide effort

The minor is part of a campus-wide effort to enhance environmental awareness at UWL.

Earn general education credit

Many elective course options are offered outside of the College of Business Administration and may count toward general education credit, allowing students to fill core requirements while pursuing the minor. 

Sample courses

MGT 310 Principles of Sustainable Business This course lays a business foundation on the relationships between social, environmental, and economic systems and their impact on business. Challenges to existing business theory will embrace a sustainability perspective of business that includes an introduction to sustainability frameworks, system thinking, and current trends in and among sustainability issues and business stakeholders. Prerequisite: admission to business. (Cross-listed with MGT/MKT; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Fall.

MGT 408 The Global Responsibility of Business This course considers the turbulent environment in which organizations function and examines specific dimensions of this environment including the evolution of a framework of global human rights, the impacts of economic and social globalization, the convergence of global approaches to sustainability and the changing ideological and political frameworks affecting business. It will also examine matters of global corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. Prerequisite: admission to business or chemistry major with business concentration, or physics major with business concentration; senior standing. Offered Fall, Spring.

MGT 480 Business Sustainability Capstone The purpose of the capstone course is to integrate the knowledge and concepts students have gained through the sustainable business minor. The course is designed to apply the tools and insights gained in this and other courses to a defined project, creating deliverables that will be useful to partner organizations. This is done by developing a substantial project in any of the following formats: a client-based project with a client of your choosing, a business plan, research study, white paper, training manual, survey/interview, case study, strategic/long-range planning document, grant proposal, feasibility study, or sustainability campaign design (for marketing). Prerequisite: MGT/MKT 310; MGT 408; three credits of CBA sustainable business minor electives. Open only to minors in sustainable business. (Cross-listed with MGT/MKT; may only earn credit in one department.) Offered Spring.