Sustainability is a relatively new discipline within the environmental and business fields. Sustainability combines economics, business, social and environmental science. The goal of sustainability is to find a balanced approach that minimizes risks to these areas in order to maintain or enhance the quality of life in the future. It can also been defined as the study to minimize and mitigate environmental impacts caused by human actions. In order to specialize in environmental sustainability, it is imperative to select a program offering ecology and environmental classes.

Sustainability is truly interdisciplinary and can be found under the umbrella of such disciplines as planning, agriculture, business, law, engineering, technology, environmental sciences, environmental studies and biology. Sustainability can be further broken down into specialized areas such as business operations, agriculture and government operations. A key area of sustainability that is consistent across the disciplines is the identification and awareness of the associated environmental and human health impacts from raw materials to the final product. The study of how policy or regulatory requirements affect the environment, human health and economy is also under the field of sustainability. The ultimate goal of sustainability is to enable an atmosphere for economic growth without adversely affecting the environment or human population.

Courses and curriculum:

The courses offered in sustainability are often combined with other disciplines in order to give more specialized approach to the subject. A combination of business, economics, natural sciences or social sciences are the commonly available choices. Some of the courses are a combination of sustainability and environment whereas some other fit to the business management sector. Students can choose the courses as per their aptitude and choice. Some of the popular courses in sustainability are;

1.Master of Planning in Urban Design, Sustainability and Conservation
2.MBA in Integrated Sustainability Management
3.Post Graduate Programme in Sustainable Management (PGPSM)
4.MA / MSc in Climate Change and Sustainability Studies

The sustainability focused degrees are available at the Associates, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral levels. Higher level degrees offer greater flexibility and growth in a sustainable career. The programmes are designed to prepare students for joining the global movement for protecting earth’s systems and resources as well as the spread of social and economic opportunities for all people. It will challenge and support the students to engage with the growing international debate and practice around sustainability, business and social responsibility. The curriculum provides in-depth knowledge and skills in core sustainability competencies and how to apply them in the economic and social environment for competitive advantage.

The courses help the students acquire knowledge and skills to understand and analyze urban areas and to design better sustainable urban environments responsive to the particular natural and cultural identities and heritage of the place. Students are encouraged to engage with cities in a multidisciplinary way to propose local solutions to global issues like climate change and migration, and to protect heritage values. It offers a multi disciplinary approach to the ideas of sustainability and resilience, urban and regional, and development and community.

Career opportunities:

Recent interest in sustainability within business and government has created new employment opportunities – in positions like sustainability coordinators, directors, and managers. Job positions are available for sustainability graduates in industry, consultancy, utilities, regulatory agencies, nonprofits, governmental agencies and nongovernmental organizations. There is a demand for employees and leaders who know what sustainability is and understand its complexity, understand how to approach problems and solutions, and know how to work with and draw from different disciplines.

Like many other environmental careers, sustainability jobs can vary widely. For most common sustainability careers, typical job duties include conducting online research on environmental regulatory updates, calculating the energy consumption for manufacturing a particular product, and presenting sustainability compliance report findings to clients, upper management or regulatory officials.

Job profiles:

1.Environmental Policy Adviser
2.Environmental Manager
3.Sustainability Consultant
4.Sustainability Specialist


1.Xavier School of Sustainability, Bhubaneswar
2.Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore
3.TERI University, Delhi
4.Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow
5.Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai
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