Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) believes that sustainability is becoming an industry standard, and they are equipping their graduate students with the tools, skills and ideas necessary to become tomorrow’s business leaders. As the first business school to offer an MBA in Sustainable Business, BGI gives students a unique, comprehensive and rigorous graduate school experience that prepares them to successfully lead a sustainable business, start their own, or lend vision to a non-profit organization. By making environmentally and socially responsible business practices the core of everything they do, BGI graduates are prepared to change business . . . for good.
In 2002, students who wanted to learn how to incorporate social justice and sustainability into their business education had limited options available. Seeing the need for a different kind of business school, Libba Pinchot, husband Gifford Pinchot III, and Sherman Severin founded BGI, and were later joined by a fourth co-founder, Jill Bamburg, who also took on the role of Founding Dean. Together, these founding four had a wealth of experience, education and business know-how. Gifford Pinchot was a graduate of Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from Johns Hopkins. Jill is a former teacher and writer; Libba is co-founder of Pinchot & Co., a former teacher and co-author of a book with husband Gifford; and Sherman is an author, keynote speaker, and former management consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers. With the amazing breath of knowledge possessed by BGI’s founders, it is no wonder this graduate school prepares some of the business world's best and brightest to create and implement innovative green business solutions.
Students interested in attending Bainbridge should already possess at least a Bachelor's degree, and must take part in an in-depth admissions process. Once accepted, students choose an MBA or graduate certificate program. The Hybrid MBA Program has students attending distance learning sessions and weekend intensives in the fall, winter, and spring; while students in the Metro MBA Program attend traditional on-campus classes for four quarters per year. The goal of a Bainbridge MBA program is to provide students with a mainstream business education while integrating sustainability into every course and reinforcing concepts with real-world business experiences. Students interested in earning a graduate certificate can focus on one or more of four areas: Sustainable Business, Sustainable Built Environment, Sustainable Energy Solutions, or Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems.
As with any subject that is worth becoming passionate about, it is important to be actively engaged and invested in learning and experiencing that subject firsthand. This is something that BGI students will do throughout their time in graduate school. The school founders have taken care to develop a curriculum that encourages collaboration which helps provide the sharing of innovative ideas within a supportive and challenging community. To ensure students have access to the best minds and opportunities, Bainbridge offers a "Change Agents In Residence" program, where industry and thought leaders devote a quarter to giving guest lectures and taking part in group learning sessions. Current CAIR’s include Robert Egger of the DC Central Kitchen and Kim Johnson, co-founder, CEO and President of New Belgium Brewing Company. Another central component of the BGI experience are the Action Learning Projects (ALPs). ALPs give students the opportunity to meet course and learning objectives while helping companies solve real problems
According to BGI, more companies are viewing sustainability as a core business strategy. This is reflected in the Green Economy statistics: there are $230 billion annual sales of socially and environmentally based products, and $2.2 trillion in green investments. Future business leaders and thought innovators are looking for a business education that can provide them with the tools and skills necessary to create change, develop successful ventures and face the challenges of tomorrow confidently. At Bainbridge Graduate Institute, the future of green business is taking shape today.