A new rating places the University of Vermont’s Grossman School of Business among the top nine business schools internationally and top three in the U.S. for social impact. The new ranking, called the Positive Impact Rating, was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The new recognition joins other honors Grossman has recently received. Its Sustainable Innovation MBA (SI-MBA) program has been ranked the No. 1 “Best Green MBA” by Princeton Review for three consecutive years. In 2019, Corporate Knights, a leading sustainability magazine, rated SI-MBA No. 4 internationally in its Better World MBA rankings and No. 1 in the U.S.

“We’re extremely proud of the Grossman School for its many achievements, including this latest, important recognition,” said UVM president Suresh Garimella. “The school’s emphasis on sustainability is not only a good match for the university’s vision and values, it is critical to producing, in its graduates, just the kind of leaders the planet so desperately needs.”        

“This new accolade affirms that we have developed one of the world’s best MBA programs, one that’s designed to help students address the world’s greatest sustainability challenges via the power, ingenuity and innovation of business,” said Sanjay Sharma, dean of the Grossman School of Business.

The Positive Impact Rating is the product of the first global assessment by students on how well their schools confront business’s societal impacts. The Grossman School’s rating of “Level 4: Transforming” was the highest level achieved.

According to the report, “The nine top-rated schools on level 4 are recognized by their students for including sustainability and societal engagement in their mission and for the degree to which these are seen as a driving force for the school.”

Unique in its mission, UVM’s accelerated one-year SI-MBA program was developed by Sharma and his colleagues in the Grossman School in 2014. It places sustainability at the heart of the curriculum, rather than offering a few sustainability courses as electives, as the majority of MBA programs do, and addresses environmental ethical, poverty and inequality issues through global innovation and enterprise. Graduates have gone on to work in a sustainability capacity for companies such as Unilever, Microsoft, Starbucks, Morningstar and Ingersoll Rand and have also started successful businesses such as Sap Beverages and Propagate Ventures.

In addition to earning accolades, UVM’s SI-MBA program is producing students who have performed well on the national stage. UVM’s SI-MBA team placed first at the inaugural Total Impact Portfolio Challenge last spring, beating 25 other teams from schools that included Wharton, Columbia, Yale, Georgetown, Chicago, Duke and NYU in a competition to build financial portfolios that both make profits and have positive impacts on the world.

The Positive Impact Rating and its activities are endorsed and supported by WWF Switzerland, OXFAM, and Global Compact Switzerland. It is operated in close collaboration with student organizations including oikos International, Net Impact, AIESEC, SOS UK and Studenten voor Morgen.