Offered by the new Institute for Business, Sustainability & Society, our unique 12-credit unique 12-credit program allows any undergraduate student, graduate student, or working professional to earn a formal certificate in the burgeoning field of sustainable business. Adopting a systems approach, this comprehensive program equips participants with the cutting-edge knowledge and skills needed to help organizations become more resilient, competitive and reputable by embracing sustainable principles and practices.
The program is offered at Winchester’s main campus and online.
The Sustainability Stakeholders & Agendas class definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I had never taken a class on sustainability, and at the beginning, I thought I would never really be able to apply this to my work in the future. Obviously I was wrong, as I learned just how much management is responsible for maintaining a sustainable organization. I believe this class really challenged me to think outside the box and apply what I have been learning in my regular classes to real situations around the world. I appreciated this opportunity and through the reading, guest speakers and Dr. Jackson’s lectures I have definitely learned valuable lessons that will give me a competitive edge in the work force. Thank you for creating such an interesting and engaging class.”– Martina Schianchi ’23 | BBA with Management concentration
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Learn More About This Program
Despite an impressive rise in global living standards since World War II, the scientific consensus is that humankind is on an unsustainable course. Why? Because much of this growth has come at the expense of the natural systems on which our economic system depends. Business is a major part of the problem, but also, an indispensable part of the solution. In the simplest of terms, business may pursue a “weak” sustainability strategy, or a “strong” sustainability strategy. The weak sustainability strategy is the minimal “do no harm” strategy. It’s about achieving growth and profitability objectives without causing harmful externalities—such as air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity and soil fertility. The strong sustainability strategy goes further, by being “regenerative.” It’s about innovating in ways that heal the planet and improve lives for generations to come. Our vision is of a world where strong sustainability strategies are the norm and where commerce aligns with the long-term public interest.
Hands-on experiential learning takes two forms. First, there’s consulting projects with external clients, such as Quantum Sails, supplier to the America’s Cup, and Space for Giants, an African conservation NGO. Second, we run two in-house ventures: Waste Stream 2, which upcycles local waste streams into new products, and the Cofan Women’s Association, which sells 100% sustainably-made handicrafts, donating all proceeds to indigenous artisans in the Amazon.
The Sustainability Stakeholders & Agendas class has taught me about the guidelines that governance systems and corporations can adhere to in order to practice sustainability. Through the guest speaker presentations and articles we’ve read for class, I’ve had the opportunity to learn how sustainable practices are put into action and the lasting impact these decisions can have on the future. After everything I’ve learned from this class, I want to commit to choosing more sustainable products as a consumer. As an MBA student, I want to keep the principles learned in this class front of mind so that I can incorporate sustainable practices in my future career and contribute to preserving the Earth’s resources for a better tomorrow.”
– Isabella Brito ’23 | MBA
Thanks to the generosity of the Baxa Family Foundation, a limited number of prestigious $1500 scholarships are available to undergraduate and graduate students on a competitive basis. Contact Dr. Giles Jackson for details: email@example.com.
Companies around the world are seeking qualified interns who can help them integrate sustainability into their business processes, from managing customer sustainability communications to utilizing sustainability software for reporting metrics. Students can make a real impact by helping with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Career and Salary Possibilities
Over 1000 new jobs for “Sustainability Manager” are posted on LinkedIn every month. Sustainability managers identify and assess sustainability requirements, risks and opportunities, develop and implement programs to reduce, offset and reverse adverse environmental and social impacts, and communicate progress to stakeholders. Salaries typically range from $75,000-150,000/year depending on education and experience.
In 2021 more Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) were hired than in the previous five years combined, according to Harvard Business Review. CSOs are tasked with ensuring regulatory compliance, monitor and report on ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) performance, oversee the entire portfolio of sustainability projects, manage stakeholder relationships, build organizational capabilities, foster internal cultural change, scout for new ideas and experiment, and embed sustainability into decision making at all levels. Salaries typically range from $60,000-$200,000/yr depending on education and experience.
Overall, I have learned that it is important to manage our resources sustainability for humanity’s longevity. This is not only a moral prerogative, but a practical prerogative. If we continue to abuse the resources we rely on, we may deplete them. Even if that depletion does not occur in our lifetime and production is not halted in our lifetime, it may happen in the future if kept on the same path and affect future generations’ quality of life, ability to produce, and inhibit economic growth. More businesses would benefit from implementing a sustainable triple bottom-line. However, there are barriers to such implementation, and in the U.S. in particular, there may be a cultural resistance to what is perceived as sacrificing commerce and prosperity for a future that is not immediately profitable. That is why we must work to educate businesses about sustainable development.”
– Azriel Lee ’24 | BBA with Marketing concentration
Classes & Course Information
Our innovative curriculum was designed with input from leading experts such as Dr. Alix Willimez, a recent graduate of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Each course includes appearances by leading practitioners and thought leaders.
|Course Number||Course Name||Course Description||Credit Hours|
|SBS 401/SBS 501||Foundations of Sustainable Business
|This course surveys the emerging sustainable business sector in a global context. Students will examine the broader ecological, social, economic, technological, regulatory and institutional forces driving the sustainability agenda and various frameworks for designing a sustainable business that aligns commerce with long term value creation for society and our planet. Students will conduct in-depth research and gain hands-on experience with the Institute’s in-house ventures.||3|
|SBS 402/SBS 502||Sustainability Stakeholders & Agendas||
This course examines business sustainability issues from an intergenerational perspective and through the lens of different stakeholders. These include nature, governments, business and trade groups, consultants, investors and analysts, media organizations, community groups, activist and civil society organizations operating at multiple levels (local, regional, national, international, global).
|SBS 403/SBS 503||Sustainability Strategy & Governance||
This course focuses on sustainability issues at the firm level, encompassing business philosophy and entity formation; corporate strategy, structure and governance; intellectual property and innovation pathways; product and service certification programs; Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) policies; sustainable supply chain management; sales, marketing and public relations; and sustainability measurement and reporting.
|SBS 404/SBS 504||Sustainable Business Practicum||
The Sustainable Business Practicum is an opportunity for students to acquire real-world experience by applying sustainability principles in practice. This will take the form of an internship with a for-profit organization, non-profit organization, government agency or consulting firm. Students will acquire the practical skills and knowledge to rethink, innovate and positively shape or reshape businesses and organizations and help create a sustainable future.
Overall I could not have asked for a better class or professor. I learned so much from this class that I never knew before about strategy and governance in business. Most of all, I will be able to carry this information into the next chapter of my life as I enter the business world. I would recommend this class to my teammates and peers because it will expand their knowledge the same way it has expanded mine. You are a great professor and I am glad this sustainability program has been implemented at Shenandoah!”
– Connor Naugle ’23 | BBA
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