Sustainable Business program

mUndergrad 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.

What is sustainable business?

Sustainable business means balancing the “triple bottom line” of economic, social and environmental aspects when making business decisions. Using this more holistic decision-making approach helps businesses create regenerative communities and ecosystems that are cleaner, healthier, safer and more vibrant.

The minor has taught me new ways of understanding business including its interconnectedness with natural and social environments. I’m truly grateful for creating lasting connections with mentors, professors and peers; applying learned knowledge in service projects; and securing a post-graduation career through the program.

Amanda Wciorka

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. 

Example positions

  • Sustainability specialist
  • Climate change analyst
  • Sustainability advisor
  • Director of sustainability
  • Sustainable process solutions consultant

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