New MEM Concentration in Business & Environment has Triple-Bottom-Line Focus

October 31, 2016

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment has launched a new Master of Environmental Management concentration in Business & Environment (BE) to meet the growing private-sector demand for managers, consultants and analysts who can develop and implement business practices that benefit the environment, society and shareholder value alike.

Applications are now being accepted for fall 2017 admission into the new concentration.

“Corporations today increasingly are seeking organizational and technological innovations to address the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit,” says Jay S. Golden, associate professor of the practice for sustainable systems analysis, who will chair the B&E program.

“Our new program is designed to give students the knowledge and analytical tools they need to evaluate the environmental and economic trade-offs of these practices and technologies, and helps firms identify the best path forward,” Golden says.

The new concentration incorporates holistic systems thinking and strategic analysis into a curriculum focused on global business structures and trends that impact resource use and ecosystems; supply chains and production-consumption systems; and institutional drivers and policies of corporate sustainability.

Students will put their knowledge and skills to work through client-based sustainable business consulting projects for industry sponsors.

“The goal is for student to learn firsthand how businesses – especially global corporations – are connected to each other and to consumers through supply chains, and how business behaviors have an impact on the environment,” Golden says. “They’ll also learn about methods of influence through in-depth examination of motivations for implementing environmental stewardship practices and mechanisms for communicating these practices within organizations and to external stakeholders.”

The curriculum will include intensive training in methods and tools for financial analysis, life-cycle modeling, supply chain modeling, systems modeling and other critical means for quantifying the economic, social and environmental implications of implementing new practices and strategies.

BE graduates will be equipped to provide leadership in a wide range of fields and at all levels of corporate structure, Golden stresses. These range from executive-level posts and traditional environmental and sustainability management positions, to being part of project teams that address supply chain, responsible sourcing, logistics, sales and marketing, product design, corporate strategy, government affairs, and community engagement,

In addition to Golden, core faculty teaching and advising students in the new concentration will be:

  • Deborah Gallagher, associate professor of the practice of resource and environmental policy;
  • Lori Snyder Bennear, associate professor of environmental economics and policy;
  • Jeffrey Vincent, dean and Clarence F. Korstian Professor of Forest Economics and Management;
  • Jesko von Windheim, professor of the practice on environmental innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • Martin Doyle, professor of river systems science and policy;
  • Douglas Nowacek, Repass-Rodgers University Associate Professor of Conservation Technology; and
  • John Virdin, director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

The new BE program is one of eight on-campus MEM concentrations the Nicholas School offers.