Sustainability Concentration

When you choose to earn an Online MBA degree with a concentration in Sustainability from Northeastern University, you can help create a better future and a thriving business environment based on renewable policies, growth initiatives, and strategies. Beyond improving the environmental impacts of your business, you can also learn to lower financial expenditures, streamline processes, and improve internal and external relationships.

Tap into an expertly designed curriculum that focuses on business, technology, and critical skills

Tap into an expertly designed curriculum that focuses on business, technology, and critical skills

Participate in courses limited to 20 students to develop a closer connection to faculty and peers

Participate in courses limited to 20 students to develop a closer connection to faculty and peers

Study at a top-tier business school with experience built into its DNA

Study at a top-tier business school with experience built into its DNA

Take part in our optional domestic campus residency where you can meet fellow online students on campus

Take part in our optional domestic campus residency where you can meet fellow online students on campus

Take part in our optional domestic campus residency where you can meet fellow online students on campus

Graduate in as few as two years

Online MBA Sustainability Concentration

Wind turbines and a solar array stand in front of a row of skyscrapers.
Corporate environmental responsibility is more important than ever, and it will only become more vital with each passing year. When you choose to earn an Online MBA degree with a Sustainability concentration from Northeastern University, you can become a key part of creating a better future by building a business environment driven by environmentally friendly policies and strategic growth initiatives.

Successful sustainability in business leads by active, demonstrative examples. Northeastern University’s Online MBA with a concentration in Sustainability can prepare you to lead initiatives and create strategies built on a trust of science, credible research, and sound policy recommendations, ultimately leading to a business approach that is publicly transparent in its sustainable mission even as it creates optimal shareholder value.

Three of your five electives must be from the following concentration-specific courses:

MBA Sustainability Careers

Those who earn an MBA with a sustainability emphasis can confidently pursue any of a variety of careers that aim to build toward a better future. Positions can include environmental manager, corporate environmental director, director of compliance, sustainability director, and chief sustainability officer. Specific roles, job titles, and salaries may vary depending on an individual’s experience, education level, location, and employer.

Environmental Manager

Environmental managers are the gatekeepers of an organization’s environmental practices. The policies they design, implement, and oversee can help create a “green” culture that starts from within and can expand beyond the corporate walls. It is an ideal role to pursue to gain the experience needed for senior- and executive-level roles.

An environmental manager’s median annual salary is about $84,900. Responsibilities include developing safety policies and procedures, developing green business initiatives to promote environmentally friendly practices, auditing practices to improve safety, and training staff on environmental initiatives.

Environmental Manager Job Description

Environmental managers develop corporate procedures designed for environmental improvement, ranging from green and environmentally friendly practices to staff training on environmental initiatives. Environmental managers also commonly develop and audit safety practices and procedures.

Environmental Manager Salary

According to January 2021 PayScale data, the median annual salary for environmental managers is approximately $84,900. PayScale reports that those in the top 10% of the pay range have a median annual salary of around $124,000.

Corporate Environmental Director

Those in corporate environmental director roles often function as project managers. Through goal setting and education, they guide projects and campaigns to promote environmental awareness, including projects that could potentially evolve into corporate policy. Experienced individuals interested in combining project management skills with a passion for the environment may be especially drawn to this senior-level role.

A corporate environmental director’s median annual salary is about $96,700. Responsibilities include overseeing projects designed to promote environmental awareness, providing educational opportunities to foster environmental compliance, setting time and budget expectations for environmental projects, and overseeing and updating environmental policy and procedure literature.

Corporate Environmental Director Job Description

Corporate environmental directors oversee green projects designed to create and promote environmental awareness, which can include setting time and budget expectations for completion and compliance. They may also provide educational opportunities to optimize green project effectiveness, and oversee a company’s environment-based procedural literature.

Corporate Environmental Director Salary

As of January 2021, PayScale reports that the median annual salary for corporate environmental directors is about $96,700. A number of factors can affect salary, such as level of education and years of experience in the field. Job location can also be a factor, as cities with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher salaries.

Director of Compliance

Directors of compliance keep companies in line with federal and local policies. By making sure organizations adhere to rules and regulations — environmentally and otherwise — they ensure corporate growth occurs ethically and without the threat of legal action. Those with experience in the field interested in risk management’s role in sustainability may be drawn to this senior-level position.

A director of compliance’s median annual salary is about $101,800. Responsibilities include ensuring company compliance with laws and regulations, analyzing and identifying potential risks and gaps in effective business practice, developing and implementing solutions to compliance issues, and meeting with regulatory agencies to further ensure compliance.

Director of Compliance Job Description

Those in director of compliance roles oversee company policies to ensure they meet current regulations. They use analytical and critical-thinking skills to identify and resolve compliance gaps, and often meet with regulatory agencies for further compliance confirmation. While compliance applies to environmental protection, it also involves areas such as finance and human resources.

Director of Compliance Salary

According to PayScale, the median annual salary for directors of compliance as of January 2021 is around $101,800. PayScale further reports that those with 10 to 19 years of experience in the field have a median annual salary of around $114,000, and those in the top 10% in terms of pay have a median annual salary of about $161,000.

Sustainability Director

Sustainability directors turn green promises into practice. By designing and implementing corporate sustainability strategies, they are instrumental in helping companies operate ethically and work to make a difference. This senior-level position combines business ambition with a passion for the planet.

A sustainability director’s median annual salary is about $103,500. Responsibilities include developing and executing sustainable strategies that reduce company waste, creating and overseeing sustainability tracking systems, developing sustainability training and education programs, and presenting sustainability reports to government agencies and interest groups.

Sustainability Director Job Description

Sustainability directors develop and implement various corporate strategies that aim to promote environmental safeguards. They also oversee tracking systems that monitor a company’s green project metrics and provide sustainability reports to high-level executives. Occasionally, sustainability directors may offer environmental protection-based training and opportunities for employees.

Sustainability Director Salary

As of January 2021, PayScale lists the median annual salary for sustainability directors to be around $103,500. PayScale reports that salaries can fluctuate depending on location, sometimes dramatically. For example, the median annual salary for sustainability directors in the New York City area is 31% higher than the national median.

Chief Sustainability Officer

Chief sustainability officers (CSOs) lay the foundations and parameters of a company’s overall environmental strategy. Like professionals in other executive-level positions, CSOs must consider how corporate environmental safeguards affect short- and long-term productivity and profitability. This top-level role can be the ultimate goal for individuals seeking executive positions.

A chief sustainability officer’s median annual salary is about $184,460. Responsibilities include overseeing sustainability program operations; coordinating sustainability strategies with employees, executives, and shareholders; conducting performance evaluations of existing sustainability initiatives; maintaining compliance with environmental regulations.

Chief Sustainability Officer Job Description

CSOs oversee the operations of various corporate sustainability programs, making sure they align with the needs and goals of employees, executives, and shareholders. They also supervise sustainability initiatives, ensuring corporate compliance with environmental regulations.

Chief Sustainability Officer Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) categorizes the CSO position under top executives, an umbrella term the organization uses to classify all executive-level positions, including chief executive officer (CEO) and chief operations officer (COO). The BLS lists the median annual salary within this classification at $184,460.

Building a Better Tomorrow

With increasing concerns about climate change and a growing global commitment to the ethical stewardship of the planet, the time for organizations to act in environmentally friendly ways is now. Northeastern University’s Online MBA with a concentration in Sustainability can give you the tools to turn your dual passion for business and the environment into a satisfying and impactful career. Learn more about how Northeastern can guide you toward a career that truly makes a difference.

Sources:
Houston Chronicle, “What Is a Corporate Sustainability Manager?”
Mo.gov, Environmental Manager
PayScale, Average Compliance Director Salary
PayScale, Average Corporate Environmental Director Salary
PayScale, Average Environmental Manager Salary
PayScale, Average Sustainability Director Salary
PayScale, Average Sustainability Officer Salary
Society for Human Resource Management, Chief Sustainability Officer
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Top Executives

Graduate Certificates

Northeastern also offers a selection of online graduate certificates in seven relevant business topics. In these focused programs, you’ll take four to five graduate courses and tailor your learning experience to suit your goals. All certificate coursework is designed and taught by the industry-active, expert faculty from the world-class D’Amore-McKim School of Business.

Earn an online graduate-level credential in as few as five months, or take up to two years to complete. Upon completion of your graduate certificate program, you may be able to further your business education by applying your credits toward an eligible master’s degree such as Northeastern’s Online MBA or Part-Time MBA.

Graduate certificates are available in:

  • Accounting and Financial Decision Making
  • Business Administration
  • Corporate Finance
  • Corporate Renewal
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management