Ninety-five percent of 527 MBA students surveyed by PR firm Hill & Knowlton ranked “career opportunites” among the most important factor in choosing an employer whereas only 34 percent viewed a company’s green policies in the same fashion. The students surveyed were chosen from the 12 top international business schools, and 20 percent of the American students said they would be less inclined to take an offer from a company with poor environmental practices as opposed to 42 percent from Europe and 38 percent from Asia. Other considerations that ranked higher than green policies were corporate culture and benefits.Two-thirds of the students surveyed said they’d never work for a tobacco firm, and nearly half of the U.S. students said they would not work in the energy or automotive industries, which might have more to do with Enron and hard times for the Big Three than it does the environment.
But according to Rich Leimsider of the Aspen Institute, MBA’s ranking environmental policies as low-priority won’t hamper the growth of sustainable business practices. “The good news is that the green revolution is moving beyond corporate reputation issues.”