Curricula are needed that incorporate sustainability concepts—earth systems science and engineering, ecology, green chemistry, biogeochemistry, life cycle analysis, toxicology—into secondary and tertiary education. Building on existing efforts and accelerating their delivery is needed. Although particular focus must be placed on training chemistry and chemical engineering students, sustainability concepts and practices should also be a part of the educational practices in professional schools such as medicine, law, and business. There should be special emphasis on management education where knowledge about sustainability as a design protocol and corporate strategic advantage could significantly accelerate application and knowledge of new products and technology in the business world. Sustainability concepts, science, systems analysis, new product development, emerging markets, full cost accounting, and valuation metrics need attention in business management to enable systematic implementation of sustainability practices. Ignoring management education creates a disconnection between chemistry and corporate leadership. Business managers and executives more broadly need customized curricula on sustainability ideas.

Business executives (including general managers, R&D managers, and financial managers) also need professional development in sustainability. R&D managers, in particular, need to first understand and then support innovations that avoid or reduce environmental and societal impact. Equally important is the communication of sustainability thinking to middle and upper level managers and executives in business management and incorporation of sustainability objectives in annual performance goals as well as corporate strategy.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement