SES offers new course in environmental economics and sustainability

SES offers new course in environmental economics and sustainability

Students in environmental studies at SES explore the ecological, social, and economic factors in sustainability.

The School of Environmental Sustainability (SES) at Loyola University Chicago offers a new bachelor’s degree in environmental economics and sustainability, connecting environmental and social problems to business theories and economic analysis.

In recent years, SES has built on its interdisciplinary approach by expanding programs focused on the connections between sustainability, business, and economics. Undergraduates take environmental economics and sustainability as minor subjects and those in the master’s degree programs can choose to focus on sustainable business.

This new course expands SES’ academic offerings related to business and economics, and students in this course begin with foundational classes on sustainability and economics and then concentrate on business-oriented courses on economics, policy, and law.

Richard Melstrom, PhD, associate professor of ecological economics, spearheaded the development of this new course. “In the last five to 10 years, SES has been moving to make social science, economics, and business more integral in the sustainability curriculum,” he said. “A main outcome of the major is connecting environmental and sustainability-related thinking across topics and fields related to business, policy, and economics.”

Melstrom noted that environmental actions have economic consequences, from policy implementation to restoration efforts and sustainable business strategy. He said that the field of economics has much to contribute to our understanding of environmental problems. “The economics discipline has been a leader in the study of distributional and development problems, including poverty, unemployment, pollution, public health, and economic mobility,” said Melstrom.

With this expansion of its interdisciplinary approach, SES aims to train future leaders who will bring together the worlds of economics, business, and sustainability, and help to create a more equitable and sustainable economy that meets people’s needs and sustains the planet for future generations.

This article is an excerpt from the School of Environmental Sustainability.

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