As the costs of externalities mount, there’s widespread recognition in the business world that green or environmentally beneficial initiatives are in everyone’s best interest and are a true win-win. And it’s apparent that corporate finance has a crucial role to play in bringing green enterprises to life.

Nicholas Center students become familiar with this sector, mainly through consulting engagements. In the past, students have researched the costs and benefits of attaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for Grainger Hall and develop an evaluation model that could be used anywhere on the University of Wisconsin campus. The outcome of the project was LEED assessment and certification for Grainger, and a marketing research study of LEED costs and benefits. Another consulting project involved researching renewable energy and analyzing growth trends for a private equity firm interested in energy sector investments.

Other opportunities for involvement at the Wisconsin School of Business include a student chapter of Net Impact, an international non-profit focusing on harnessing “the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.” Also available to Wisconsin MBA students is a Graduate Certificate in Business, Environment and Social Responsibility.