The impact that organisations have on the environment has become a hot topic for businesses around the globe. Efforts to offset large carbon footprints and reduce emissions are driven by an increasing demand from consumers that products and services come from environmentally friendly sources. Some business schools have responded by covering environmental issues in their MBA and EMBA programmes, and the first MBAs that focus entirely on green issues are starting to emerge. In Hong Kong, the first carbon-neutral EMBA course in Asia was announced last month by the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA programme. The carbon-offset programme was developed by EMBA students and involved collecting donations that were used to purchase carbon credits for a hydroelectric project in Chongqing. Students began by calculating their carbon footprint by working out the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the programme. 'They knew that the faculty would have a fair amount of a footprint because we fly students in directly from the United States on a periodic basis,' said Steve DeKrey, senior associate dean at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology business school and programme director of the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA programme. 'Our students are attuned to the issues about carbon usage and they started energising themselves to be concerned about it. With help from the university, they were able to get started on making the programme carbon-neutral.' James Lewis, a student on the programme who is also director of Offset HKG, said: 'Being an international programme, our students and faculty represent various regions and communities. We felt it was important to be proactive in working out possible responsible and sustainable business-driven solutions that benefit the environment. We would like to see more co-operation between industry and universities in educating and providing commercial solutions.' The EMBA programme aims to bring in speakers next year on topics related to the environment, green issues and carbon emissions. 'Aside from this programme, there are initiatives on campus to have more awareness of these issues. We're building a new business school building and we are aiming to be very environmentally friendly by using the right air conditioning and ventilation systems, and building materials,' Professor DeKrey said. However, he added that the carbon-neutral EMBA programme was initiated by students, not the university, and should be kept that way. 'It is a student activity and that's how we want it; there's much more passion behind it when they do it themselves.'