Business & Environment

The Business and Environment (BE) program trains students to be managers and analysts who support private-sector organizations in implementing environmentally sustainable business practices. It 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; institutional drivers and policies of corporate sustainability; and methods and tools for quantitative analysis. B&E is one of eight available concentrations in the two-year residential Master of Environmental Management (MEM) program.

Our Vision

The Business and Environment program at the Nicholas School of the Environment seeks to be the premier program in developing a new generation of industry leaders who effectively develop and implement organizational programs which result in both an improved environment and shareholder value.

The Curriculum

Your faculty advisor will work with you in selecting a curriculum track and area of specialization based on your interests, experience, and goals. You’ll gain knowledge of historical and current environmental and social issues facing industry and explore strategies that provide meaningful value to the environment, the communities where businesses operate and to the shareholders who rely on the company for jobs and economic value. You can choose from courses across Duke and at our partner institutions.

Your Future

B&E graduates will find opportunities to contribute to organizations that are engaged in a wide range of business related activities spanning from traditional environmental and sustainability positions, to being part of project teams addressing supply chain, responsible sourcing, logistics, sales & marketing, product design, corporate strategy, government affairs and community engagement.



Find out if our program is right for you. Feel free to contact us with questions.  

•  Full Program Description
•  Prerequisites & Required Courses
•  How to Apply


Welcome to the family! Here are some resources to get you started. 

•   Before You Arrive
•   When You Arrive
•   Student Advising
•   Curriculum Planning Spreadsheet
•   Master’s Projects


“Our society is experiencing unprecedented change ranging from rapid population increase and urbanization of the planet coupled with an expanding global middle class and the globalization of our economy.  Collectively this is resulting in a tremendous demand on both terrestrial and ocean based natural resources while also resulting in complex socio-environmental impacts.  At the center of these grand challenges are multi-national firms which span any singular national border and control the pace and implications of earth resource utilization. However, facing increased pressures from investors, consumers, NGOs and government institutions, these firms are seeking organizational and technological innovations to address the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.  The Business and Environment program at the Nicholas School focuses on preparing our students to become leaders in all types of businesses and business focused organizations through exploration of corporate sustainability theory, institutional drivers and importantly the tools necessary to quantify the implications of implementing different strategies.  Our program allows you test your project management skills by undertaking sustainable business consulting projects for industry sponsors, in addition to opportunities to network through workshops, conferences and field trips as well as our student led clubs such as the Nicholas School Net Impact chapter.”  
--Jay S. Golden, associate professor of the practice for sustainable systems analysis


Deborah Gallagher
Business & Environment Program Chair
Associate Professor of the Practice of Resource and Environmental Policy
(919) 613-8138


participating faculty