BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. — The Bainbridge Graduate Institute is reporting that applications to its MBA in Sustainable Business program have tripled despite nationwide decreases in MBA applications. Top MBA programs across the country are seeing 30% drops in applications, according to Business Week.

The BGI program educates students to create and manage successful, profitable businesses that are also socially and environmentally responsible.

BGI prepares its graduates to "fill a demand," says Rick Bunch, BGI's executive director. He cites an Arthur D. Little study in which 95% of the companies surveyed viewed sustainable development as important to the future of their companies. "I think it's one of the reasons why our program has nearly doubled each year it's been around, and why we've seen a threefold increase in applications over last year at this time."

Kevin Hagen, principal of Shuksan Energy Consulting and a member of the graduating class, is not surprised, "Sustainability is the next big trend in business. Huge corporations are in the process of transitioning to more sustainable business models-within the next five years, I think MBAs trained in sustainability will become mission-critical employees. BGI is providing the training necessary to fill this rapidly emerging need."

BGI held commencement ceremonies for its second class of MBAs in Sustainable Business on Saturday, May 14.