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If MBA grads don't care about being green, why should companies?


Elsewhere at BusinessWeek.com, Derek Thompson took a look at a recent study showing that, for MBA grads, a company’s green credentials rank last in importance when picking a job. See “Green isn’t gold for MBA’s” for the full story. Thompson writes:

“According to the study, which surveyed 527 MBA students at 12 top-ranked international business schools, 95% of the students ranked career opportunities as “extremely” or “very important” factors in selecting an employer. In contrast, only 34% of the students viewed a company’s environmental or green policies in the same fashion—despite the fact that schools and environmental advocates report strong interest by MBA students in the subject.”

I’m surprised by these findings. Anecdotally, at least, corporations say the opposite in justifying their green hiring policies. Check out Heather Green’s “The Greening of America’s Campuses” for some evidence of this trend. HR pros are quick to mention attracting young talent — that’s generally greener than prior generations — and workplace satisfaction issues when justifying green policies. One factor that this survey might be missing: once at a job, employees begin to value green policies more over time, so green policies play a bigger role in retention. Curious to thoughts on this apparent contradiction from MBAs, HR types, and readers.


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