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The Aspen Institute, whose work on corporate responsibility and environmental issues on MBA programmes is arguably the gold standard on the subject, is publishing its first guidebook for prospective students.

The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs 2008-2009, which will be published on Wednesday, will primarily be distributed as an electronic download, though print editions will be available through Amazon.com.

With the guide, those prospective students interested in sustainable business will be able to compare MBA programmes according to course content, faculty research or student activities.

The guide will build upon research that Aspen has been conducting since 1999 for its alternative MBA rankings, “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” and for its faculty pioneer awards which recognise business school faculty most committed to teaching and researching social and environmental business issues.

Rich Leimsider, executive director of the Aspen Institute centre for business education, says the guide will serve the growing number of highly qualified prospective students for whom social and environmental responsibility is an important factor in their choice of school. “The bottom line in business is no longer exclusively dedicated to financial returns. Rather, business leaders must also consider the environmental and social impacts of their decisions in order to compete in the global marketplace,” he says. “The MBA schools that participate in our survey, and are therefore highlighted in The Aspen Institute Guide to Socially Responsible MBA Programs, are leaders in integrating these issues into their curricula.”



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