Become an expert in understanding the energy and sustainability-related challenges that businesses face and how to handle them.

With the Energy & Environmental Sustainability concentration (EES), you’ll cultivate your passion for energy and sustainability and could find yourself in a role working in areas like: life science, insurance, medical devices, or hospital administration. Wherever you end up, this concentration is for students looking to lead organizations increasingly concerned with climate change and environmental sustainability.

In addition, the EES concentration can be combined with the Health Sector MBA, Public & Nonprofit MBA, or MBA+ MS in Digital innovation programs, or with one of the other concentrations such as entrepreneurship, finance, or leadership & organizational transformation. The choice is yours – you’ll receive a personalized degree because we give you the freedom to tailor it to fit your goals.

Required Courses (1)

Sections for this course are offered every year in daytime and every other year in evenings.

Elective Courses (2)

The following lists elective options students can chose from with the corresponding EES units the course will earn. Please note that some courses are equivalent to 1 unit, while some are 0.5. Two 0.5 courses will equal 1 unit. Students must take an equivalent of 2 units of electives in this area.

Questrom School of Business Courses

0.5 Unit

  • Debiasing Decision Making (QSTMK849)

    The objective of this course is to inform future managers, consultants, and advisors of the psychological processes and biases underlying the decisions made by customers, competitors, colleagues, and themselves, with emphasis on how to incorporate such insights into marketing and business strategies. Applications of these processes and biases will be examined within the domains of the sustainability and health sectors. The course will provide students with a broad overview of important results from various behavioral sciences (e.g., behavioral decision research, cognitive and social psychology, behavioral economics, consumer research) that demonstrate the several biases that can affect the quality of our strategic decisions. It is intended to provide students with knowledge about applying these findings to topics in marketing, strategic management, and organizational behavior. Classroom time will be devoted to a combination of lectures, discussions, cases, and exercises illustrating the main concepts.

  • Marketing Social Change (QSTMK867)

    Globalization, increasing transparency in business operations and the prevalence of social media have forever changed the way stakeholders view and interact with organizations. Societal and business imperatives are not only often considered compatible; they can be increasingly viewed as one and the same. People today often communicate, organize and engage based on mutual interests, and, generally, place greater trust in organizations and individuals that work for a better world. Marketing has often been referred to as the "science of sales." Whether you are selling a product, an intervention or an idea, it can be a powerful tool for advancing social change in today's dynamic environment. The strategic integration of a relevant social purpose into a product, business or nonprofit organization through brand-building citizenship activities can drive consumer and donor recall, consideration, acquisition, retention and propensity to recommend. However, these efforts do not usually constitute a "silver bullet" and may not be the best solution to a business problem or societal need at all. In the worst cases, ill-conceived citizenship marketing strategies can result in damaging consequences. Practitioners must be pragmatic when engaging in marketing social change. Understanding how to apply best practice, identify opportunities, address challenges, engage stakeholders and innovate strategically are essential skills in this rapidly evolving sector. The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how marketing principles can be applied to create both short-term and lasting social change. Students will explore dimensions of the modern landscapes of brand, corporate and nonprofit "citizenship" and how they relate to marketing. Areas of study include: cause-related marketing and cause branding; nonprofit branding and social movements, as well as corporate social responsibility and shared value creation.

  • Public Policy Analysis (QSTPL882)

    This course explores the economics of the public sector and the impact government policy and programs have on society and business. The course provides students with tools to systematically examine the financing and measure the impact of government policies and regulations. It explores the rationale for government intervention, appropriate levels of intervention and how to measure the effectiveness of policies and regulations. This course is helpful to those who desire a deeper understanding of the central role government plays in the economy and how government impacts the business and nonprofit sectors.

1 Unit

  • Leading Sustainable Enterprises (QSTOB835)

    Leading and managing a sustainable and successful 21st Century Enterprise requires updated context, skills, frameworks, and vernacular. Pressures resultant from population growth and increasing consumerism have upended past assumptions related to limits. While the 19th century was characterized by limits of human capital and the 20th century was limited by financial capital, the 21st century will be limited by natural capital. Shared and improperly priced renewable resources (such as the air, the oceans and clean water) are being threatened by climate change and a host of other challenges. Other renewable resources (such as forests and fish stocks) are being consumed faster than they can be replenished and non-renewable resources (such as oil and metals) are being depleted faster than any time in human history. At the same time, transparency (enabled by technology), new modes of communication, and an ever increasing number of NGOs, are elevating consumer expectations of corporations. Finally, regulation is expanding in response to market inefficiencies and as a means of addressing externalities. While all of these changes are happening outside the walls of the corporation, they are so profound that they require a reexamination of the past modes of leadership and management inside the Enterprise. For starters, leaders must reconsider the mission of their enterprise and identify and prioritize the stakeholders that the corporation is committed to serve. In addition, leaders will be challenged to reimagine the appropriate framework for the corporation, understanding newly extended boundaries of responsibility. Thoughtful leaders will also look around corners to try to understand the inter-relationships of heretofore not considered interactions and feedback loops.

  • Clean Technologies and Supply Chains (QSTOM845)

    The clean technology industry is one of the largest sectors of the economy and yet still undergoing significant growth and attracting a plethora of new entrants. It has been characterized by a great deal of experimentation around new technologies and around business models in the face of regulatory and market place disruptions. The course uses a combination of cases, simulation and analytical exercises to review trends and their co-evolution within the clean technology/energy eco-system. It aims to build a skill set around risk and opportunity assessment, and allied implementation challenges. This course is aligned with the requirements of the Entrepreneurship, PNP and Strategy concentrations.

  • Sustainable Energy Business Models and Policies (QSTPL851)

    The course will feature a series of 13 speakers, each from one area of sustainable energy business, in a discussion that connects the business strategy, business model, public policy and regulatory drivers that affect the business. The areas featured include solar and wind energy, the smart grid, energy efficiency businesses, energy storage, and several others. The goal of the course is to (1) introduce business students to this specialized area and to the range of subjects they will need to learn if they intend to pursue a career in this sector; (2) show students how different sustainable energy companies define their business model to respond to transformations and opportunities in their industry, and how that business model interacts with public policies. Students from outside of Questrom may enroll with permission of instructor, based on knowledge of energy technologies, regulation, and basic energy economics.

  • Corporate Sustainability Strategy (QSTSI849)

    Focuses on embedding sustainability (ESG/CSR) into corporate strategy as an approach for creating long-term shareholder/stakeholder value, where value covers the broad spectrum of economic, environmental and social outcomes. Through readings, lectures, case discussions, in-class exercises, lab session and a team project, this course will: 1) Introduce students to problem framing and environmental scanning techniques as methods for understanding macro-level social, economic and environmental systems and their implications; 2) Apply a variety of long-range strategic forecasting and analysis methods, techniques and tools through a scenario planning lab simulation; 3) Develop decision frameworks for corporate strategy development focused on creating/capturing value and managing risk through a sequence of strategic actions over time; 4) Explore newly emerging paradigms for sustainability-driven innovations in product/service, value chain and business model development and stakeholder-based, non-market actions.

0.5 Unit or 1 unit with qualifying project

  • Strategies for Sustainable Development (QSTSI870)

    SI870: Strategies for Sustainable Development is an advanced strategy course that explores the analysis, conceptualization and development of innovative, market-based solutions for sustainable development challenges for a future defined by natural resource, environmental and biological constraints. Specifically, the course the explores 1) the complex global context for sustainable development, 2) key stakeholders, 3) the emergent strategy (entrepreneurial) development process, method and practice, and 4) the structure, governance, and financing/microeconomics of new, emergent organizational forms and business models for sustainable development, such as cross-sector cooperative alliances, public-private partnerships with a particular focus multi-stakeholder platforms. Note: Market-based solutions for sustainable development are economically self-sustaining alternatives to traditional governmentally-funded or aid-based programs for addressing systemic social, economic and environmental problems. These solutions engage public, private, NGO and civil society actors and employ a variety in emerging organizational forms (both for profit and non-profit), innovative business models and strategies to deliver effective solutions at scale. The course takes a stakeholder-oriented, system-of-systems approach to the issues of sustainable development with a specific focus on the network of interrelated actors and interdependent issues within the class of "wicked problems"; .i.e. social, economic or environmental problems that are difficult to frame, scope and seemingly insoluble because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements. Cases, readings, video and lectures will establish global context and sustainable development worldview across nine countries; Brazil, China, India, Israel, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa, and explore solutions to a range of issues from energy, food, water and climate change to health, education, economic inclusion, gender equity, security, organized crime and the informal. Students will work in teams to initially identify, frame and scope a complex, global sustainable development challenge and then work throughout the semester to research, conceptualized, evaluate and propose a global initiative for a market-based solution to that challenge.

Courses from Other BU Schools/Colleges

These courses have been pre-approved and do not require a Graduate Elective Request to enroll. A grade of B- or better is required to count towards the requirement. Students must work with the individual school’s registration processes to enroll in these courses. These grades will not be factored into the cumulative MBA grade point average.

1 Unit

  • World Oil Markets (CASGE555)

    The world oil market is explained using the notion of supply chain. Each stage is described in terms of relevant theories from geology, economics, and politics, and how they interact to generate real-world behavior.

  • Energy Transitions (CASGE560)

    Survey of energy transitions including animal power to wood to coal to petroleum to electricity; analysis of socioeconomic, political, technological, and environmental causes of energy transitions, and future energy transitions resulting from fossil fuel depletion, climate change, and sustainable development.

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Planning, Operation and Markets (ENGEC543)

    Breakthroughs in clean energy generation technologies and the advantage of exploiting efficiently the available work in fossil fuels will render electricity the dominant energy form in a sustainable environment future. We review the key characteristics of Electric Power Transmission and Distribution (T&D) networks and the associated planning and operation requirements that ensure supply adequacy, system security and stability. Capital asset investment and operation cost minimization is discussed in a systems engineering context where the assets as well as the dynamic behavior of generators, T&D networks, and loads interact. Recent developments in the formation of competitive wholesale markets at the High Voltage Transmission system level, the associated market participation and clearing rules and the market clearing optimization algorithms are presented and analyzed in terms of their effectiveness in fostering cost reflective price signals and competitive conditions that encourage optimal distributed/not-centralized investment and operating decisions. Finally, we present T&D congestion and supply-demand imbalance related barriers to the widespread adoption of environmentally friendly and economically efficient technological breakthroughs, and propose a systems engineering and real-time retail-market based coordination of centralized as well as decentralized generation, storage and load management resources that is able to achieve desirable synergies and mitigate these barriers. 4 cr

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Planning, Operation and Markets (ENGME543)

    Breakthroughs in clean energy generation technologies and the advantage of exploiting efficiently the available work in fossil fuels will render electricity the dominant energy form in a sustainable environment future. We review the key characteristics of Electric Power Transmission and Distribution (T&D) networks and the associated planning and operation requirements that ensure supply adequacy, system security and stability. Capital asset investment and operation cost minimization is discussed in a systems engineering context where the assets as well as the dynamic behavior of generators, T&D networks, and loads interact. Recent developments in the formation of competitive wholesale markets at the High Voltage Transmission system level, the associated market participation and clearing rules and the market clearing optimization algorithms are presented and analyzed in terms of their effectiveness in fostering cost reflective price signals and competitive conditions that encourage optimal distributed/not-centralized investment and operating decisions. Finally, we present T&D congestion and supply-demand imbalance related barriers to the widespread adoption of environmentally friendly and economically efficient technological breakthroughs, and propose a systems engineering and real-time retail-market based coordination of centralized as well as decentralized generation, storage and load management resources that is able to achieve desirable synergies and mitigate these barriers.

  • Sustainable Power Systems: Planning, Operation and Markets (ENGSE543)

    Breakthroughs in clean energy generation technologies and the advantage of exploiting efficiently the available work in fossil fuels will render electricity the dominant energy form in a sustainable environment future. We review the key characteristics of Electric Power Transmission and Distribution (T&D) networks and the associated planning and operation requirements that ensure supply adequacy, system security and stability. Capital asset investment and operation cost minimization is discussed in a systems engineering context where the assets as well as the dynamic behavior of generators, T&D networks, and loads interact. Recent developments in the formation of competitive wholesale markets at the High Voltage Transmission system level, the associated market participation and clearing rules and the market clearing optimization algorithms are presented and analyzed in terms of their effectiveness in fostering cost reflective price signals and competitive conditions that encourage optimal distributed/not-centralized investment and operating decisions. Finally, we present T&D congestion and supply-demand imbalance related barriers to the widespread adoption of environmentally friendly and economically efficient technological breakthroughs, and propose a systems engineering and real-time retail-market based coordination of centralized as well as decentralized generation, storage and load management resources that is able to achieve desirable synergies and mitigate these barriers. 4 cr.

  • Assessment of Sustainable Energy Technologies (ENGEK546)

    Critical to launching new energy ventures and implementing new energy policies is developing a broad understanding of how technically feasible the proposed project/technology in meeting the economic, environmental, and end-use requirements. This course will provide students with the background needed to assess the potential for energy efficiency and effectiveness of different technologies, the related economics, as well as identify the key technical risks in emerging technologies. Examples will be drawn from a variety of emerging technologies such as solar photovoltaics, fuel cells, advanced transportation technology, as well as conservation options such as motors, cogeneration, building automation and HVAC. This course will also address evaluating the life cycle implications of emerging technologies, including manufacturing issues, end-of-life, as well as estimating performance. 4cr. 2nd sem.

  • One Practice/Project Unit

Students must take one elective from the following list, and must complete an EES qualified project within the course of the class.

1 Unit for Qualified Project

  • Latin American Field Seminar (QSTIM852)

    This intensive ten day seminar provides students with a broad understanding of the ways in which business strategies can create value at the base of the economic pyramid. Students will gain first-hand experience of how businesses, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and governments are using models of social enterprise to address social and economic issues in the fields of health, education, and the environment in the context of emerging markets in Latin America. This study program includes extensive site visits to social enterprises, multi-national firms, NGO ventures, and government organizations. Students also hear from a wide variety of Latin American specialists in topic areas. A broad range of topics will be covered including: renewable energy, sustainable development, eco-tourism, new models for providing health and education services to underserved populations, social enterprise, micro-enterprise, corporate social responsibility, and public/private partnerships. The course will consist of three pre-departure sessions focused on social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, and emerging markets. Students are also expected to select an individual research track of interest for the duration of the seminar. This seminar is open to all full-time and part-time MBA and MSDi students. Full-time students may register for it as a spring elective, part-time students can register for it as they see fit, students graduating in May can register for this class in the Spring and still participate in commencement ceremonies, and MSDi students may take it in year two.

  • Digital Transformation: Immersive Interactions and Insights at Silicon Valley (QSTIS855)

    This course will be a one week intensive held in Silicon Valley. The course is designed to achieve two objectives. First, to develop an appreciation for the role of Silicon Valley in Digital Innovation and, secondly, to examine how digital innovations are impacting key shifts in specific sectors. This year, the course will focus on three sectors; Healthcare, Energy and Digital Content/education/media. Students will be placed into teams and be expected to develop specific insights as the basis to engage in interactions with corporate executives, alumni and follow classmates. Teams will also visit leading companies involved in each sector and develop and present their team's perspective on key digital trends and leadership challenges for their sector.

  • Management Consulting Field Project (QSTOB840)

    The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the management consulting process and its practical application. Students will explore dimensions of the consulting framework, engagements, work methodology, client relationship management, value creation, developing and delivering presentations and client follow-up. This course requires a series of interim deliverables contributing toward the final deliverable. This course is primarily a field-based course supported by lectures, readings, guest speakers and case discussions. The course simulates a small consulting firm where you are the consultant. By working on a consulting assignment with team members as well as using your classmates as resources for your project you are gaining the "real world" experience of working in a small consulting firm. This class is designed and best suited for second year students who have 3-5 years work experience in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. Management consulting experience is not required though it is helpful.

  • Strategic Analysis of Energy & Environmental Sustainability Projects (QSTSI847)

    This course is a field-based team project course focused on real world issues related to energy and environmental sustainability. Course projects are provided by external "client" organizations and provide students with an integrative, hands-on experience in the development, deployment, and/or implementation of sustainable energy/environmental technologies/systems/initiatives. Examples of client organizations are public/private/non-governmental organizations that operate in the: a) energy generation, distribution or storage sector, b) energy/energy services (ESCO)/environmental services sector, c) energy/environmental project development services or financing sector, or d) public/private sector, such as a large energy-user evaluating sustainable energy/environmental strategy/implementation alternatives. The course is of hybrid design, blending in-class lectures, panel discussions and cases with on-line elements and field site visits. Prior course work in areas such as finance, marketing, policy and strategy will be augmented with specific/relevant industry/application/technical content through online sources, webinars and expert speakers.

  • Starting New Ventures (QSTSI852)

    This course focuses on the process of identifying and obtaining the necessary resources to launch an entrepreneurial venture through the development of a business plan. A well-written business plan will communicate the business concept in a way that attracts the various resource providers necessary for the venture's success. Students will individually develop a business concept and prepare and present a professional business plan.