In what marks a growing trend among business schools in the aftermath of a crop of corporate scandals and collapses topped by the financial crisis of 2008-09, the College of Business at the San Francisco State University has launched the Center for Ethical and Sustainable Business, with a view to incorporating these angles in the business education imparted at the school, by combining and accommodating research and expertise from various disciplines across the college.

Housed in the Downtown Campus of SFSU, the Center is envisioned to provide a structure for a more formal approach to addressing issues of economic development, ethical business and environmental business in the Bay Area. Apart from conducting and publishing applied research on sustainable business, and conducting events around these, the Center is also expected to facilitate career opportunities for MBA students in the College by integrating real-life, hands-on engagements with Bay Area businesses in the course of their academic experience.

In response to the questions raised over the role of business schools in the creation of the financial crisis and intense scrutiny of how they are reforming themselves to embrace a greater social commitment, many business schools across continents have reacted with an overt emphasis on courses or research in issues of ethics and sustainability.

From the INSEAD Social Innovation Center to the one planet MBA at the University of Exeter Business School or the Wharton PhD in Ethics and Legal Studies, each of these initiatives within conventional business schools aim to prepare leaders for the future who can balance financial, social and environmental considerations while formulating winning business strategy.