Details for University of Massachusetts Boston College of Management

Participant Status


Type of Organization


Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate

Institution is part of

University of Massachusetts Boston


Boston, MA, United States


Sign Up Date to PRME

30 Aug 2010

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

16 Nov 2019

Sharing Information on Progress (2019)

2017-2019 Progress Report - View Report

Period Covered: Sep 2017 to Nov 2019

This report describes the sustainability activities of our College of Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, focusing on the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness (SERC). The report outlines the educational programs, research projects, and outreach activities of the Center, and assesses their impact. More information about our research, events and publications can be found on the SERC website and annual newsletters,

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

1.Sustainability-Related Programs and CoursesThe Center was launched with the receipt in late 2009 of a $187,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for Clean Energy Workforce Training (PI David Levy), which enabled the development of two new certificate programs, and strengthening the MBA specialization. New courses were developed for these and existing courses updated in several colleges. The certificates have been updated to enable non-UMB students to take them, though the vast majority of students are taking UMB degrees. Environmental Management specialization in MBA (Updated with grant, and new/revised courses – administered from CM). 10 current students, 23 graduates. Graduate Certificate in Clean Energy and Sustainability (New- administered from CM). 10 students have graduated, many new enquiries for next year. Undergraduate Certificate in Clean Energy and Sustainability (New – administered from EEOS/SFE, has since evolved into Environmental Studies minor for degree students). Has grown toabout 15 students a year over last 5 years. The certificate programs are interdisciplinary, and are open to people taking any degree. They are designed to support the careers of people fulfilling many different functions, from science
and engineering to policy, finance or marketing. Businesses tell us they want people who are highly skilled in their core functional area and who also have literacy, some expertise, and enthusiasm in sustainability. Clean-tech and sustainability related employment has been growing much faster than other sectors, around 8-10% a year, even through the recession, and the Boston region has emerged as a key center for this activity.
SERC collates all the courses available each semester for these programs and promotes them. We have launched a web portal to promote all UMB’s sustainability-related programs
Interest in our sustainability-related courses has remained strong. The environmental courses continue to attract students from a variety of majors such as business, economics, environmental studies, and mathematics.

In addition to taking courses, we offer students the opportunity to engage in independent study or internships to explore a particular clean energy or sustainability issue of interest to them. Quite a number of graduate students have completed independent studies in this area over the past few years. For the 2015-2016 academic year, these are two examples of independent studies supervised by SERC faculty: William Henderson (Alternatives to toxic chemicals in solar panels manufacturing), and Gavin Bodkin (Strategies and best practices for reducing waste through employee engagement). During the 2015 summer semester, undergraduate student Celine Fong completed an independent study as part of her internship with Jones Lang LaSalle to examine current drivers and barriers for adopting climate resilience strategies in the commercial real estate market.
2. Ph.D. Program in Organizations and Social Change (OSC)
The Ph.D. program track in Organizations and Social Change entered its fourth year with a total of 22 students enrolled. More information about the program is available at: A number of the students have an interest in various dimensions of sustainability. In Fall 2016, we will welcome our third cohort of two College of Management graduate students, funded through the $3.1 million IGERT grant from NSF in collaboration with the School for Environment and the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. The students are studying complex business and environmental issues affecting coastal areas, such as climate adaptation and marine economies in the Boston region and in developing countries. Several more Ph.D. students are actively involved in sustainability research and have won awards, published papers and presented their research at international conferences (see section on research).
3. Green Internships
Our Green Internship Program, launched in November 2012, has continued to expand and attract employers and students (More information about the program is available at: Over 180 internships have been posted on the SERC Green Internship website since November 2012 and a growing number of employers are reaching out to the department to publicize their openings (e.g., Environmental Defense Fund, Eversource, Sustainable Energy Advantage, Next Step Living, Sustainalytics, Environment Massachusetts, Clean Production Action, and Sustainable Minds). Our alumni, current students, and board members, have also sent us information regarding available opportunities.
In April 2015 in partnership with UMass Boston’s Office of Internships and Career Services we organized the 4th Annual Green Career Forums, which featured 14 local employers with Alicia Barton, CEO of Mass Clean Energy Center as the keynote speaker. Over 100 students attended the event and were given the opportunity pursue summer internships or job opportunities. The SERC internships website has continued to be the most frequently visited page of all SERC pages.

We have been working with the Office of Career Services and Internships and the School for Environment to establish a system for tracking students completing green internships.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

SERC faculty engages in research projects with the aim of exploring the business-sustainability interface, providing businesses and policy makers with a solid foundation for long-term strategic decisions. Our faculty undertakes a broad range of research including accounting and finance issues associated with climate risk, sustainability standards, organizational challenges of combining economic and social values. We have researched projects on planning and adaptation for coastal flooding risks, and on the development of regional clean-tech clusters within global value chains, and on green chemistry and sustainable consumption.

Major Grants Awarded:
David Levy 2013 Co-Pi on $3.1 million NSF Division of Graduate Ed. IGERT Grant: Coasts and Communities: Natural and Human Systems in Urbanizing Environments. PI: Robyn Hannigan, School for Environment. NSF EDGE: 1249946. Duration: 09/01/13 to 08/31/18. College of Management and SERC are partners, and funded PhD students will integrate business, science, and policy in research on complex environmental policy.
David Levy 2010 Co-PI on 20AUD300,000 award from the Australian Research Council under the National Competitive Grants program, in collaboration with Oxford University’s Smith School for Enterprise and Environment, and the University of Western Sydney. Corporate strategies in energy-intense sectors, and the influence of governmental policies and NGO strategies.
David Levy 2009 PI on $187,000 grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for Clean Energy Workforce Training. Development of Clean Energy and Sustainability courses and programs
SERC faculty have prepared several funded research proposals:
$7 million multi-disciplinary proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency for establishing an Environmental Finance Center at UMass Boston to support financing for climate adaptation and resilience (the project was led by Profs. Haigh and Gao and while we didn’t received funding, we are currently looking for other opportunities in this area).

NSF Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events, $1.8 million: Partnerships for Climate Resilient Infrastructure
Paul Kirshen (SFE), Nardia Haigh (MM), David Levy (MM), Lucia Silva-Gao (AF), and Amit Patel, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, MGS.
SERC core faculty Vesela Veleva was awarded $7,128 UMass Boston Joseph P. Healey Research Grant to conduct research on the circular economy in 2016-17 academic year.
Gavin Bodkin, an MBA candidate in the College of Management, was awarded the 2015-2016 Biogen – SERC Fellowship for $6000, working under supervision of Vesela Veleva, who organized the grant.
SERC faculty are participating with SFE, MGS and SSL in a large-scale invited proposal to Green Ribbon Commission/Barr Foundation on urban climate resilience, economic development and equity. The proposed multi-million investment in institutional capacity will support long-term climate adaptation and mitigation research and action. One "node" of this infrastructure should be a center/institute within the U Mass system, which could serve multiple functions. Proposal is currently under development.

Return to list of participants

Back to Top