Enterprise Sustainability Initiative

In today’s business climate, how organizations manage their triple bottom line - people, planet, and profits - is critical to their survival and success.

Fisher College of Business prepares business leaders to address these complex global issues, including ethical and cross-cultural challenges, issues of diversity and inclusion, and environmental impact and sustainability.

Sustainable business practices approach

Fisher strives to educate students to:

  • Lead the way in social and environmental stewardship
  • Make a positive impact on society
  • Take and entrepreneurial approach to alleviating poverty
  • Help navigate the complexity of the public sectors
  • Keep sustainability and green business concepts at the forefront


Top 100Globally Ranked in Sustainability

Fisher College of Business ranked 24th in the 2009 Beyond Grey Pinstripes Global 100 ranking – leading the way in social and environmental stewardship.

Student Involvement. National Reputation.

Two years in a row, Ohio State’s chapter of Net Impact, an international enterprise committed to using business to improve the world, earned “Gold” status and “Chapter of the Year” status at the 2009 annual conference.

Alleviating Poverty through Entrepreneurship
Green Supply Chain Symposium

Alleviating Poverty through Entrepreneurship (APTE)

Bringing together scholars, students, policymakers, and practitioners.


Green Supply Chain Symposium

People from different industries discuss the efficiencies and opportunities in the supply chain.

Through its focused programs based on cutting-edge faculty research, Fisher offers the best in management education and research, with supporting expertise from across The Ohio State University.

Amongst Fisher's faculty, there are many who have a passion for streamlining and expanding green business practices, as well as preparing our future leaders in industry.

Neil Drobny

Neil Drobny is a business consultant who works with companies to help them improve competitive advantage through environmentally friendly business practices. He is an adjunct professor at Fisher where he teaches courses on sustainable business practices. Additionally, he serves as Executive Director of the Central Ohio Sustainability Alliance and chairs the Green Business Committee of Columbus Mayor Coleman’s Green Team.

Roy J. Lewicki

Professor Lewicki is a leading scholar in the study of trust development, negotiation and conflict management processes. He is the author or editor of over 32 books, including the leading academic textbooks on negotiation. His recent book, Making Sense of Intractable Environmental Conflicts, won the Best Book Award from the International Association of Conflict Management. At Fisher, he teaches courses in Negotiation, Advanced Negotiation and Leadership, Values and Decision Making.

Geoffrey M. Kistruck

Professor Kistruck completed his PhD in Strategy and International Business at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He holds an MBA from McMaster University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. His research focuses on social entrepreneurship in emerging markets, corporate governance, and the internationalization of non-traditional organizational forms such as nonprofits, cooperatives, and cross sector partnerships.

The Fisher curriculum is designed to offer students flexibility and customization based on their interests in social and environmental issues.

Courses incorporate these issues into classes or assignments, including Ethics and Social Responsibility, Fair Trade and Corporate Responsibility, Enterprise Sustainability, Business and the Environment, Corporate NGO-Partnerships and the Emerging Markets Field Study in international markets.

At Fisher, students develop their leadership style through a broad set of values-based leadership activities designed by faculty experts. Our Ethics and Social Responsibility (ESR) curriculum is embedded in our MBA core classes and co-taught by our core faculty and a faculty ESR expert.

Enterprise Sustainability Management Program

Fisher offers optional, interdisciplinary career tracks that allow students to create a specialized niche of study to complement their major.

The Enterprise Sustainability track includes courses that offer both instruction in diverse aspects of sustainability and hands-on project opportunities working with companies and non-profit organizations facing sustainability challenges. It helps students gain knowledge and skills for managing enterprises facing complex, global sustainability issues.

Fisher also offers a Certificate in Enterprise Sustainability Management for students who complete certain pre-specified course requirements.

Example Courses Offered

Students learn strategic responses to sustainability issues that can be employed to create business opportunities and competitive advantage, in addition to interacting with executives from a variety of organizations who are integrating sustainable best practices.

Energy and the Environment

MBA 820 - Global Environment of Business (Core class - required by all MBA students)
The purpose of this course is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the political, economic, social, and technological forces shaping today’s global business environment.

MHR 841 - Business & the Environment
Business & The Environment will teach students how to integrate consideration of the environment into thinking about business processes to improve a company’s competitive advantage. The course will revolve around the concept of environmental sustainability.

MHR 894.63 - Project Experience in Design & Development of Sustainable Business Practices
This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in the design and development of sustainable business practices to fill a need articulated by an operating public or private organization.

MBA 808 - International Field Study: Sustainability in Brazil
This course will reinforce global perspective of business in Brazil and of Brazil as a major player on the international business scene. Course content will include sustainable business practices and culture and language of Brazil.

M&L 845 - Global Marketing and Sustainability
The course explores issues around international marketing and sustainability including analysis of strategic, political, and philosophical issues faced by management, and governments involved in international trade.

MGT 894.01 - Introduction to Global Energy Industry-Applications, Technologies and Original Equipment Manufacturers
The objectives of this Energy course are to familiarize the student with the energy industry, develop a view of how technology is poised to meet this demand, and utilize the energy industry to understand global trends of supply, demand, technology and the financial implications.

MHR 694.11 - Introduction to Sustainability in Business-Concepts & Issues
Introduction to Sustainability in Business – Concepts and Issues will trace the historical evolution of present day expectations on corporations and other organizations for taking on environmental and social responsibilities that may seem unrelated to their core mission.

MHR 694.12 - Introduction to Sustainability in Business - Applications & Solutions
The course offers an in-depth look at sustainability initiatives of selected industries and strategies which initiatives support; class project gives students hand-on experience with a local business.


Leadership and Ethics

MHR 840 - Leadership Values
The purpose of this course is to explore issues of leadership as they relate to value-based decision making, personal integrity and organizational integrity including how organizations design systems to maintain individual and organizational integrity, and manage challenges to integrity.

MHR 859 - Business Ethics
The general purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to ethical decision making in business. The focus will be on ethical decision making and business ethical issues at individual, organizational, and societal levels.

AMIS 894.26 - The Moral Dimension of Economic Systems, Business Institutions and The Accounting Professional
Humanities, social science, and business literature will be supplemented by current events and visual media as we explore the moral dimension of economic systems, business institutions, and the accounting profession.

MHR 809 - Leading and Managing Change in Organizations
The course focuses on the issues and challenges of successfully leading and managing organizational change. Although this course focuses on both the design and implementation of change, the emphasis is primarily on successful implementation.

Non-profit Management and Social Enterprise

M&L 894.83 - Non-profit Marketing
The course explores the global nature of nonprofit marketing or thoroughly differentiates the nonprofit environment from the traditional commercial marketing environment.

MHR 894.62 - Micro-Enterprises and Economic Development: The Case of Peru
The course focuses on the emergence and effectiveness of various market-based approaches to addressing the problem of poverty alleviation and culminates in a 10-day trip, where the issues discussed in class will be confronted in reality.

Operational Efficiency

MGT 840 - Lean Enterprise Leadership (Implementing and Managing Lean Processes)
Learn to be lean managers who can help companies improve processes immediately. In difficult economic times, credentials in lean management can be a critical differentiator when applying for jobs or internships.

MGT 810 - Six Sigma Principles
This course is designed to familiarize students with the Six Sigma process improvement methodology and to provide them an opportunity to practice using Six Sigma Black Belt tools. The classroom sessions will combine lectures with group discussions and hands-on exercises.

You’ll find countless opportunities for leadership, community involvement and fun through Fisher clubs and organizations.

Fisher Board Fellows

Fisher Board Fellows is a student-run initiative that brings together the Columbus community and select Fisher MBAs through the placement of students on the boards of local not-for-profits as non-voting Fellows. These Fellows, mentored by a board member and with the full support of the not-for-profit executive director, perform a consultative project that harnesses the student's business experience and passion for the not-for-profit's mission while adding long-term value to the partner organization.


FisherServes is a graduate student led organization at the Max M. Fisher College of Business that is committed to promoting awareness of civic and social responsibilities and to connecting the Fisher College of Business with the surrounding community by leading service-based initiatives throughout the Columbus area. Each year it organizes opportunities for Fisher students for community service with the help of local non-profits such as the Columbus Zoo, COSI, etc. It also organizes a number of fund-raisers addressing societal needs.

Net Impact

Net Impact is an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to make a positive impact on society by growing and strengthening a community of leaders who use business to improve the world. The chapter hosts a monthly speaker series on topics such as construction, finance, renewable energy, operations and marketing.

The group also sponsored the Alleviating Poverty through Entrepreneurship Summit, organized a Green Supply Chain Symposium and plans activities during the university’s Sustainability Week. OSU Net Impact earned “Gold” status this year—one of only 12 out of 241 international university chapters—and received “Chapter of the Year” status at the Net Impact annual conference.

Fisher Tax Clinic

The FisherOSU Tax Clinic provides free tax preparation services to low income taxpayers living and working in the Columbus metro area. The Clinic has developed a chapter of the IRS' Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. The Clinic works with the Columbus office of the IRS to provide assistance to low-income taxpayers as they prepare their federal and state income tax returns. It offers workstations where qualified taxpayers come to work with student volunteers to complete their tax forms and file them electronically.

At Fisher, the Leadership and Professional Development (LPD) program is an integral part of the core curriculum and MBA experience.

Students develop their leadership styles through a broad set of values-based leadership activities designed by faculty experts. Our Ethics and Social Responsibility (ESR) curriculum is embedded in our MBA core classes and co-taught by our core faculty and a faculty ESR expert. Fisher offers an elective concentration in this area.

In addition, Fisher and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State have joined forces to offer a Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration degree for students seeking a public/private perspective and employers emphasizing corporate responsibility.

In Their Words

  • Natalie Gerhardstein

    "It’s challenging to get a global perspective in the classroom but Fisher did this particularly well in its Enterprise Sustainability courses. My studies at Fisher were invaluable."

    Natalie Gerhardstein
    Alumni, MBA 2009
    Fisher College of Business