Green Corner: Sustainability could benefit business, education

Stressed about registering for classes and choosing a minor? Consider a sustainability minor. With the increasing awareness of climate change and the need for renewable resources, companies are finding it more attractive to be able to incorporate sustainability into the workforce. Luckily, Rider offers a sustainability minor with diverse courses and requirements to fit various areas of study.

Dr. Daniel Druckenbrod, the sustainability studies program director, explained the field.

“The sustainability studies program has been designed to complement any major at Rider University because sustainability has connections to many facets of modern life,” he said. “The central concept in sustainability is the triple-bottom line: when considering decisions, one should weigh, not only the traditional balance sheet of profit, but also consider impacts on people and the planet. For example, how do the resources we use daily impact other societies and ecosystems, even if they might be an ocean away?”

Although it seems to fit perfectly with a science degree, the sustainability minor also pairs perfectly with degrees such as business, performing arts and education. A sustainability minor can seem intimidating, if you are not a science major, but it complements a variety of degrees. Alexandra Reynolds, a senior sociology major with minors in ethics and sustainability, agrees.

“The sustainability minor is great as a non-science major because it is interdisciplinary and it relates to every field,” she said. “Sustainability issues are often societal issues, making this incredibly relevant to my sociology major and my second minor, ethics.”

Rider’s business students also have opportunities to get involved. They will have the chance to take courses within the minor such as Intro to Supply Chain Management and Power and Politics. According to a Fortune article, studies show that companies that have advanced sustainable strategies and methods are proven to succeed financially over their competitors. The website Green Biz writes that pairing a sustainability education with business “has gone from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’ for prospective graduate business students.”

Educating today’s youth on how to live more sustainable lives is crucial to our planet’s survival. Sustainability in education incorporates environmental issues into core subjects and modifies the teaching-learning process. Rider’s education students have the opportunity to take courses such as American Environmental History as well as America and the Future. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, students are able to relate what they learn in the classroom to their real life actions and will be in a better position to change their behaviors and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

Education students who pick up the sustainability minor would be aware of the new science standards that will be implemented in schools. Educators knowledgeable in sustainability can help start a more proactive generation. This generation will grow up with sustainability as second nature.

Any student interested in learning more about this field should reach out to Dr. Druckenbrod (ddruckenbrod@rider.edu) Sustainability Studies Program Director or other faculty across a range of disciplines in the program.

—Ambria Dell’Oro

Lawrenceville Eco Rep 

 

Printed in the 11/2/16 issue.

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