Agenda 21 and subsequent declarations stress the critical role of education in instilling greater understanding of the concept of sustainability in the next generation. 'Greener' and more integrated educational systems can foster appreciation of the ways in which economic, social and ecological systems are interdependent. In an increasingly urbanized society, the formal educational system is called upon to replace environmental learning that once took place through direct contact with nature.
The USA is a leader in the field of undergraduate environmental business courses. Though only 50 out of 700 business schools offer such curricula, the rate of increase has been rapid, since 5 years ago there were no environmental business courses. The Management Institute for Environment and Business assists USA business schools in this process. The European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD) formed a Centre for the Management of Environmental Resources (CMER) in 1992, and teaches environmentally orientated Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses and executive development programmes.