MBA students discover the opportunities that sustainability may offer to companies.

MBA students from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) went on a study trip to explore a real-life practical example of how sustainability can lead to a profitable business model. The MBA course ‘business of sustainability’, taught by Dr Mirjam Werner, took them to Urban Farmers in The Hague on 16 February 2017.

The Class of 2018 of RSM’s International Full-time MBA were guided on a tour through the Urban Farmers building, followed by a brainstorming session addressing marketing, communications and supply chain management, and a lecture.

Symbiotic system

Urban Farmers, which is co-founded by RSM Executive MBA participant Mark Durno, is an aquaponics rooftop farm. It includes a greenhouse and space for fish cultivation, forming a symbiotic system for fish and vegetable production in The Hague. The company’s business model shows that urban farming above ground level is feasible.

RSM MBA student Shruti Naniwadekar also thinks so: “I really liked that Urban Farmers uses previously unused rooftop space to grow vegetables and creates a system of dependence between fish breeding and growing produce through the nutrients in the water. Great experience, great ideas.”

Circular economy

Students discovered the opportunities that sustainability may offer to companies. They explored ideas on circular economy, using waste streams for energy and innovative urban practises. The group also saw principles of stakeholder management, supply chain management and socio-economic responsibility in action.

The focus of the visit was to bring together much of the course content that the MBA students had learned so far and to further enrich the students understanding of various sustainability principles they had discussed over the past month.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at


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