Ranking: 2023’s Top Business Schools for Sustainability


Ranking: 2023’s Top Business Schools for Sustainability

Griffith Business School ranks number one for sustainability for the fourth year in a row.

The Australian B-school topped this year’s Corporate Knights Better World MBA ranking, which assessed 209 B-schools across the world on how much their core curriculum is dedicated to sustainable development concepts. This year’s ranking focuses on what is being taught in MBA classrooms in relation to environmental, social, and governance performance. Additionally, it considers the percentage of recent graduates who have landed in impact organizations (non-profits).


Griffith Business School’s MBA in Sustainability, the only MBA on offer at Griffith, has a 100% sustainable curriculum and 53% alumni impact.

At the head of the Griffith’s MBA program is Stephanie Schleimer, who is determined to ensure that all of the B-school’s core courses be “values-led.”

“We have made a conscious decision that we believe every MBA should be a sustainable MBA,” Schleimer, Griffith’s MBA director, tells Corporate Knights.

She’s put together a talented team of faculty across the university to ensure that Griffith students learn to think “outside business.”

“We don’t call our courses fancy names, either, because we believe a course in strategy should be all about responsible strategy and it should be all about total shared values,” Schleimer tells Corporate Knights. “We teach all these different things that we believe should just be the standard.”


This year’s ranking also saw some new schools join the top 40 list. One of those schools is Bard College, a private liberal arts college in New York City. The business school’s MBA in Sustainability ranked number four in the Corporate Knights ranking in large part due to its strong sustainable curriculum (94%).

Bard is also making its program more accessible to underrepresented students. 65% of its students are female, 35% identify as non-white, and the school offers scholarships specifically to first-generation Americans.

The B-school has an impressive alumni list as well. They include the likes of Chelsea Mozen, the chief sustainability officer at Etsy who successfully introduced a carbon-neutral delivery program at the e-commerce company, and Emma Jenkins-Long, a public school teacher in Vermont who entered the program and has since risen to the position of vice-president of ESG strategy at Deutsche Bank in New York.


This year, for the first time, Corporate Knights applied a social-purpose lens to its considered programs. In short, the social-purpose business model goes beyond looking at profit and takes into consideration the value being generated for society.

In relation to B-schools, Corporate Knights examines a curriculum to gauge whether or not it teaches future business leaders how to utilize assets, resources, competencies, products, services, and influence to create solutions addressing societal challenges. This year’s Corporate Knights ranking included two optional questions for respondents: do you teach the social purpose business model in your core curriculum, and does your business school itself have a social purpose statement?

Among the 209 schools featured in this year’s ranking, 19.6% had mission statements that showed a weak alignment with social purpose. 45 schools stood out for having clear and unequivocal mission statements dedicated to social purpose.

One of the schools with a strong mission statement is the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University: “Business for a Better World,” aimed at creating shared prosperity and propelling equity and justice. “This isn’t just a forward-looking statement; it’s a dedication to cultivating business leaders who can effect meaningful change.”


The 2023 Corporate Knights Better World MBA top-40 ranking assesses 209 business schools. B-schools are selected from the latest Financial Times list of the top-100 global MBA programs, the Princeton Review Best Green MBA list, the 2022 Corporate Knights Better World top-40 roster, and those accredited by the Association of MBAs, AACSB, or EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

Schools are evaluated on the sustainability content of their core courses and can review and request revisions to the analysis. This year, schools also had the option of providing information on the number of recent alumni employed with impact organizations, with the potential for up to a 10% bonus to their overall score.

Key Performance Indicators of the ranking include the following:

Core Courses (weight: 100%): proportion of core (mandatory) courses from each MBA program that integrate relevant sustainable development themes. This is determined by looking at the course description available on the program’s website. Click here for specific details on the methodology.

Alumni/Graduate Impact (weight: 10%): The percent of recent (2021-2022) MBA alumni working for impact organizations, measured as the ratio of Impact Alumni to Total MBA Alumni for the relevant time period. This is treated as a “bonus indicator.”

Sources: Corporate Knights, P&Q

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