This is the third in a series of blog posts on my experiences with Yale’s Center for Business and the Environment. Here are links to the previous post and a video summary.
The YCBE is one of the largest and most influential business school programs in the world. In fact, its primary focus is on business. But its first campus was the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, which is the oldest forestry school in the world.
As its title implies, the YCBE is a major business school with a focus on business. A great deal of its business curriculum is focused on the business of our future. It is the world’s first graduate business school that actively focuses on environmental sustainability. And I’m not just talking about the carbon footprint of corporate offices, but the impact on the environment of the lives of all of us.
The YCBE has been around for over 100 years, and its legacy is still clear. It is one of the greatest schools of forestry in the world and its graduates have made many important contributions to American life. In fact, one of their own, President William Clark, is the only sitting U.S. president who has not joined the U.N. (he was a member of the U.S. Senate for two terms).
The YCBE was founded in 1865 by Joseph Henry Hale, a lawyer from New Haven, Connecticut. After his son, Joseph Henry Hale Jr. established the Yale branch in 1868, he asked his father what he thought the YCBE should be named. The father answered, “yale center for business and the environment.” This was the original plan, and the concept was to take care of the environment.
In the early 1900s, Yale’s business school was one of the top-ranked business schools in the country. It was the first college in the nation to graduate a black man. Hale’s father was so convinced that the Yale branch was the best thing Yale could do for the environment, he wrote a letter to the president asking for a YCBE.
Yale is no longer in the top 10 for this. Instead, there are other schools like the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan that are better for this than Yale. But Yale is still ranked among the top 20 business schools in the nation, and the school has been consistently ranked among the top 10 business schools in America for years now.
That might be because people think Yale students are all about academics, but in reality the whole school is about the environment. You see, Yale is not just about the environment, it’s also about business, politics, and economics. I would argue that this is more important in the world than the environment, which is why Yale is so good at the environment.
Yale is a small school, which is always a good thing, but I think the importance of the school is the fact that its alumni are passionate about an issue that touches all of us: the environment. In fact, over 50 percent of Yale’s alumni also serve on the board of directors of a charitable organization, which makes it a perfect place to host an environmental event.
I could go on with all the examples of Yale that I’ve already mentioned. But the one that stands out in my mind the most is the one about environmental disasters, which are the kind of thing that can really knock your socks off.