In today’s volatile, complex, and uncertain world, it is crucial for businesses to understand key environmental as well as societal risks and opportunities. Both demand successful management by business leaders in order to drive innovation, improve operational efficiency, and create value for their firm and society.
Through video lectures, live online meetups with Professor Tensie Whelan, and a hands-on project, this 14-week course provides participants with the ability to help their business be a force for change through ESG (environment, social, and governance) investing, sustainable supply chain management, employee and consumer engagement, sustainability marketing, and more. With companies facing greater demands for transparency, societal challenges such as poverty and inequity as well as natural resource constraints like less available water and a warmer climate, these skills are critical to the future of business and society.
Our online certificate courses are asynchronous with optional synchronous elements. Asynchronous activities are things you do independently, like watch videos and complete assignments, and interactions with others over time via email, discussion forums, collaborative documents, and other channels. Synchronous learning includes interacting with other students and faculty in real time. Our courses are designed by educational experts from our Learning Science Lab to deliver courses that are designed with attention to user experience, learning science, and video production to build immersive digital learning environments for business school education.
This course is a non-credit, pass/fail program. To pass this course, you will need a cumulative score of at least 55%. Upon successful completion of this course, participants will receive the NYU Stern Certificate in Corporate Sustainability.
During this course, participants will:
Issues and ResearchBecome familiar with the key environmental and social issues affecting business today including the latest consumer insight research on sustainability.
Transformation of Corporate Response to SustainabilityUnderstand the evolution of corporate response — from compliance to engagement to innovation — including innovations in finance.
Leadership Skills in a Volatile WorldDevelop the skills required for leading in the new social and political environment and explore the efficiencies and innovations in development by corporate leaders in pursuit of sustainability.
Who Should Attend
Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for participants who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.
Years of ExperienceParticipants with all levels of work experience are welcome to attend
Job FunctionsIdeal for any job function
PrerequisitesIntended for individuals with a genuine interest in corporate sustainability; additionally, students must have a desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection
The following agenda is a sample and subject to change.
- In order to access the course, you will receive login credentials via email on the start date of the course. Activation instructions for your login credentials will be provided.
Green Giants: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses by E. Freya Williams (AMACOM) (available digitally, optional)
Basic Digital NYTimes subscription
Basic WSJ subscription
Live Online Meetups with Faculty
- Our live online meetups provide you with the opportunity to engage face-to-face with Professor Whelan. Please note that all online meetups are recorded and available for your viewing at a later time. Missing a meetup will not impact your grade, however we recommend attending all sessions.
- Please expect to invest about 8 to 10 hours of your time per week to course lessons, exercises, and assignments.
Week 1: January 23rd
- Sustainability for Business
- Exercise 1: Baseline Summary
Week 2: January 30th
- Unsustainable Corporate Practices
- Exercise 2: Where Do Companies Go Wrong? & Managing for the Long-Term
Week 3: February 6th
- Environmental and Social Trends
- Exercise 3: Environmental and Social Trends
- Post to Q&A Forums for Lessons 1, 2, and 3
- Live Online Meetup 1: Tuesday, February 7th 7:30 - 8:30 AM ET
Week 4: February 13th
- Sustainability Reporting and Certification Standards
- Exercise 4: SASB and GRI Reporting Standards: Differences and Similarities
Week 5: February 20th
- Materiality and Stakeholder Mapping
- Exercise 5: Materiality and Stakeholder Mapping (Create a Stakeholder Map and Materiality Matrix for your Chosen Company)
- Complete Peer Review for Exercise 5
Week 6: February 27th
- Supply Chains
- Exercise 6: Supply Chain Management
- Post to Q&A Forums for Lessons 4, 5, and 6
- Live Online Meetup 2: Tuesday, February 28th 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET
Week 7: March 6th
- Systems Thinking & The Circular Economy
- Exercise 7: Applying Systems Thinking
- Final Project Outline Due: Sunday, March 5th
Week 8: March 13th
- Exercise 8: Lazlo Innovation Scheme
Week 9: March 20th
- Customers and Sustainability
- Exercise 9: Marketing Survey
- Complete Peer Review for Exercise 9
- Post to Q&A Forums for Lessons 7, 8, and 9
- Live Online Meetup 3: Tuesday, March 21st 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET
Week 10: March 27th
- Employees and Sustainability
- Exercise 10: Sustainable Employment
Week 11: April 3rd
- Building a Business Case for Sustainability
- Exercise 11: Monetizing the Sustainability ROI
- Post to Q&A Forum for Lessons 10 and 11
- Live Online Meetup 4: Tuesday, April 4th 7:30 - 8:30 AM ET
Week 12: April 10th
- Mainstreaming Sustainable Finance
Week 13: April 17th
- Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) Investing
- Exercise 13: ESG Investing Equity Analysis
- Live Online Meetup 5: Monday, April 17th at 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Week 14: April 24th
- Net Positive Future
Week 15: May 1st
- Work on Final Project
- Final Project Due: Sunday, May 7th
Week 16: May 8th
- Live Online Meetup 6: Wednesday, May 10th at 3:00 - 4:00 PM ET
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