UW environmental studies leads national ranking of sustainable business programs

    WATERLOO, ON, July 3 /CNW/ - The University of Waterloo has finished
first in several categories that rank the 'planet friendliness' of various
academic programs, including one dominated by universities with a school of
    UW has finished first amongst schools of architecture and schools of
planning in the annual ranking by Corporate Knights magazine of how well
sustainability issues are integrated into curriculums and the student
experience. And despite not having a school or faculty of business, UW
finished first amongst undergraduate business programs.
    The university's centre for environment and business (CEB), located
within faculty of environmental studies, finished first amongst 47
institutions across Canada. According to Corporate Knights' news release on
the rankings, UW stands as a model of how business and the environment can be
integrated. Faculty members research responsible business and teach courses
that "connect these two seemingly incompatible subjects."
    Steven B. Young, director of the CEB, notes the success of the program
has a great deal to do with the fact that it is part of a environment faculty,
rather than a conventional business school.
    "Societal needs are being addressed as businesses seek to understand and
respond to growing social concerns regarding the environment and the greening
of business," says Young. "The program also addresses students' educational
needs. We saw enrolment increase dramatically in the last two years, as
greater numbers of high-quality students sought a practical education that
aligns with their outlook."
    UW established its program in environment and business eight years ago to
meet an anticipated increase in interest and need. In 2007, the faculty of
environmental studies enlarged and strengthened its capacity in the area,
officially establishing the centre of environment and business.
    There are 317 students enrolled in the program on the Waterloo campus.
Another 39 recently started studying in Nanjing, China, and will come to
Canada in 2009 to finish their degrees. In June 2008, Export Development
Canada (EDC) partnered with the faculty to establish a research chair. The
faculty is now planning a professional masters degree, targeted directly at
people already in the business world who are seeking to enhance their ability
to direct businesses towards smart green solutions.
    Corporate Knights magazine calls for students who want to change the
world and UW's program is already having an impact. In the last three years,
more than 80 graduates have landed jobs in organizations such as Canon Canada,
Maple Leaf Foods, General Motors, Ontario Power Generation and
Hewlett-Packard, where they are applying their education to help solve
environmental problems.
    UW also finished first in the category that ranks sustainability in
schools of architecture and the one ranking schools of planning. And it
finished third amongst schools of engineering.

    Corporate Knights analyzes how Canadian universities fare in integrating
sustainability into the school experience. Its definition of sustainability
considers issues of social justice, human rights, professional ethics, 
cultural diversity, climate change and conservation.

For further information:

For further information: Deep Saini, dean, UW faculty of environmental
studies, (519) 888-4567 ext. 32884; Steven B. Young, director, UW centre for
envionment and business, (519) 888-4567 ext. 38419; Michael Strickland, UW
media relations, (519) 888-4777

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