Leadership in Sustainable Business Practices
The world is facing significant environmental and social issues. The October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that we only have 12 years to prevent unstoppable climate destabilization. Business can play a leadership role in addressing these challenges. This certificate gives you the skills and knowledge to become an informed leader in driving change to more sustainable business decision-making and practices. The program aims to develop your ability to do a cost-benefit analysis of sustainable solutions throughout the value chain, arm you with a tool kit of sustainability planning and reporting methods, give you the skills to create a complete sustainability business plan, and teach you proven leadership practices to turn resistance into support in implementing sustainability initiatives. A final applied project will consolidate your knowledge and solidify your skills, as you put together a plan for an actual sustainability project with an organization or business of your choice.
This online program can be completed on a course-by-course basis or within as little as three semesters. The eight courses included a culminating applied project in the final semester, where you can apply your new skills to improve the sustainability practices of an organization of your choice.
The program offers real skills to effect change and promote sustainable business practices to protect the environment now and for the future. You will benefit from the expertise of a variety of business and industry experts, who will offer you insights into the field throughout the program. The course material also includes study cases, practical toolkits, and research-based information. In anticipation of the final applied project, a faculty mentor will help you with your business plan in the applied project preparation course. You will graduate with a portfolio of your work that demonstrates your capabilities to potential employers.
The certificate will equip you with the leadership skills to:
- Assess, plan, and lead the implement of sustainable business practices
- Lead businesses to embrace sustainability business practices to protect the environment and reduce a business's carbon footprint
- Create formal business plans incorporating sustainability options, with detailed green marketing, operational and financial plans
- Achieve ongoing environmental sustainability of the supply chain
- Create, analyze and implement corporate energy audits to achieve ongoing reductions in operational costs and a corporate image that underscores a commitment to sustainability
- Write proposals to secure government funding for environmental and sustainable business initiatives
Is this for you?
This certificate attracts participants with a passion and concern for the environment and a resilient society, who want to lead change in their personal and professional life to more sustainable decision-making and practices. Strong critical thinking skills are essential. This certificate would also benefit entrepreneurs who want to start a business initiative rooted in sustainability.
Employment opportunities related to sustainable business practices, including those related to environmental legislation compliance, are growing across all sectors.
Companies are looking for employees who can take a lead on energy efficiencies and waste reduction initiatives that benefit both the environment and the bottom line. The renewable and alternative energy sector is experiencing significant growth and has identified business skills as a critical requirement for these jobs. New public and private sector roles include:
- Sustainability Coordinator or Manager
- Environmental Leader
- Program Manager - Sustainable Projects
Minimum Admission Requirements
Ontario College Diploma or an undergraduate university degree in Business or an environmental field.
Professionals who are currently in management or with equivalent and related work experience will be considered for admission on an individual basis.
- Download and complete the application form
- Email your transcripts along with the completed application to Nicole Grady, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Continuing Education office will then contact you to enrol you in your first course.
Certificates must be completed within five years. Once you have completed all certificate requirements, please contact us again for your official certification.
Courses in Leadership in Sustainable Business Practices
Leadership in Sustainable Business Practices post-graduate program
- Climate Change and Business Adaptation (MGMT291)
- Sustainability and Business: Introduction (MGMT193)
- Transitioning to a Circular Economy (MGMT287)
- Sustainability Planning & Reporting (MGMT196)
- Comprehensive Sustainability Business Plan (MGMT199)
- Opportunities in Green Economy (MGMT197)
- Change Leadership for Sustainability (MGMT198)
- Applied Project Preparation, Sustainability (MGMT290)
- Applied Project, Sustainability (MGMT200)
Leadership in Sustainable Business Practices post-graduate program
Climate Change and Business Adaptation (MGMT291)
Analyze the science behind climate change and gain an understanding of important events which have shaped the climate change debate. By examining human population, you will gain insight into how our use of resources shapes the business landscape. Discover the Food-Water-Energy Nexus and examine the role sustainability plays in balancing key commodities for life and business. Participants will practice persuasive dialogue and learn how to present themselves successfully to clients. You will also complete an analysis of clean technology and practice writing briefing documents for executive teams. We will delve into the complexities of supply chains and the challenges involved in managing commodities in a global economy.
- Rebecca Trueman
Sustainability and Business: Introduction (MGMT193)
Learn how to position sustainability as a driver of business success and innovation, not as a threat to it. Examine sustainability and its impact on today's business model and explore the three dimensions of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) to learn how to select sustainability-related labels and metaphors that are most appropriate for specific organizations. Identify critical sustainability issues for businesses and their associated risks and opportunities, and hear from experts who have put sustainability into practice within organizations across Canada and internationally. After reviewing best environmental and social practices, you will use sustainability business case / ROI tools to frame your 'ask' to ensure that executives allocate sufficient resources for a typical sustainability project.
Transitioning to a Circular Economy (MGMT287)
Gain the knowledge and skills required by leaders to use sustainability as a transformational force and manage the transition towards a circular economy. Learn to re-think economic systems and how to contribute to a circular economy by implementing new technologies and novel business and design approaches. Explore how a circular system can create value by reusing and recycling products and how we can take inspiration from nature. Learn how to use life cycle assessments to assess challenges and benefits of approaches and critically evaluate alternative solutions. Discuss the value of sustainable supply chains and extended producer responsibility and take a systems thinking approach to the circular economy, as we examine a wide variety of business and manufacturing processes in a broad cross-section of industries.
Sustainability Planning & Reporting (MGMT196)
Research sustainability planning frameworks and reporting approaches for organizations in the private and public sector that help them assess their progress on sustainability. Study and compare common sustainability planning and reporting frameworks, as well as rating and ranking frameworks. Using this information, you will: do a stakeholder analysis to determine the audiences for a company's sustainability report; learn how to use the science-based Future-Fit Business Benchmark to assess company progress on causing less harm and doing some good on sustainability issues; and do a critical analysis of an integrated report by a company of your choice.
Comprehensive Sustainability Business Plan (MGMT199)
Create a professional sustainability plan that focuses on sustainability within an existing industry/business/organization that will meet the highest industry standards and is ready for submission to a sponsor. You will present viable business plans, including marketing and operational plans and a three-year financial plan, to your peers for critique and revision. This plan is then polished with a mentor as the basis for your applied project in that business or industry and presented to the sponsor(s) of your individual applied project.
Opportunities in Green Economy (MGMT197)
Outline and define the framework required to launch a start-up enterprise that promotes sustainable practices and meets a market need for green products or services in this course that focuses on sustainable business growth and development, and highlights the knowledge and skills necessary for entrepreneurs who are starting a business, or are looking at Green strategies for market advantage, or environmentalists looking at the growing area of environmental business practices. Study current business models for sustainability including LEED and STAR that promote the application and tracking of sustainability initiatives. Analyze green market trends, opportunities and issues through a variety of approaches, including presentations from successful business leaders, to identify sustainable business opportunities for a green business idea with a physical or web-based presence. Explore how to apply for grants and other monies for a sustainable business opportunity or project.
Change Leadership for Sustainability (MGMT198)
Study proven change management processes and leadership practices you can use that will convince hard-nosed decisionmakers to undertake sustainability initiatives and mobilize others to join sustainability efforts that will help you to develop winning strategies and become a change agent. Assess real-world cases of sustainability projects to identify what contributed to their success and diagnose what was missing if an effort was unsuccessful. Learn how to handle objections and to appropriately engage with both supporters and detractors of your change effort. Synthesize the most relevant and useful elements from various leadership frameworks and describe how you would use a few key leadership practices, paradoxes or techniques on a project that would help a specific organization become a more sustainable enterprise.
Applied Project Preparation, Sustainability (MGMT290)
Prepare for your Applied Project for Leadership in Sustainable Business Practices. Identify a 'Partner Organization', either your place of work or another organization, to design a project that fits within the program's outcomes. Prepare your resume and cover letter to submit to the organization along with your applied project goals and ideas. Work with project timelines, tools for evaluating the current policies and procedures for sustainability within an organization, and assessment tools for tracking progress. Review other skills such as team work, interpersonal communication, interviewing, and professionalism. Explore the five process groups of project management (Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring, Closing) to better manage stakeholder expectations, cost, time, quality, and scope within your own project. Obtain industry-leading tools and techniques to design and manage applied projects from initiation to completion.
Applied Project, Sustainability (MGMT200)
Design, lead, and assess an applied project with an industry sponsor or partner organization. Using your sustainability plan or business plan, work with your partner on a specific project. Complete a final culminating presentation on the work project including final deliverables and results, assessed by faculty as well as the project partner(s)/sponsor(s), as well as a required mid-project assessment and presentation. Participants must complete the Applied Project Preparation course before beginning their Applied Project.