Sustainable Practices Program | University of Colorado Boulder

Curriculum & Schedule

Core Seminars

Students are required to complete three (3) Core Seminars and one (1) Specialty Seminar. Those who choose to enroll in both certificate programs will complete each of the Core Seminars and both Specialty Seminars.

1/ Fundamentals of Sustainability and Resource Management
The seminar objective is to develop a foundational understanding of technical approaches and analytical frameworks that can be used to develop, execute, and monitor sustainability. Students will review the history of sustainability, cover core frameworks and principles. The focus will be on the short term goals and actions that are available to individual businesses, non-profits groups, and individual jurisdictions. Examples of topics we will cover include carbon accounting, ecological footprint analysis, systems approaches to resource management, water and energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, and transportation and green building.

2/ Organizational Change and Communication Strategies
Students will learn about the process of promoting a culture of sustainable business practices, encompassing change at the human, departmental, and organizational levels. Topics covered include: adaptive vs. transformative change, laying the foundation for change, relationship building, leadership for innovation, policy development, sustainable characteristics of organizations, recognizing disincentives, benchmarking, community-based social marketing, community partnerships, dealing with resistance and creating buy-in.

Communication strategies covered in this seminar include how to design successful strategic communications among employees, clients, and the public. We will tap into the latest research from policymakers, think tanks, researchers and organizations who are on the forefront of messaging about sustainability, and we’ll examine what is working, what has not, and why. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of how to frame sustainability, develop a communications plan, and implement the plan with confidence and leadership.

Finally this seminar will also address best-practices for stakeholder engagement. Participants will learn facilitation tactics to identify shared mission, vision, and core values. We will also learn strategies to create a shared story that enables your organization to convey a shared identity and purpose around sustainability initiatives.

3/ Applied Sustainability: Planning, Implementation and Assessment
This seminar will bring together many of the concepts and skills learned in the previous two seminars by applying and implementing sustainability tools and frameworks, communication strategies and stakeholder engagement within organizations. In order to implement sustainability participants will learn integrative metrics, assessments, carbon and GHG accounting, indicators, auditing, as well as developing sustainability strategic plans.

Specialty Seminars

A/ Business Sustainability Management
In the 21st century, sustainability is an imperative for business success, as well as a source of new opportunity. The intention of this seminar is to integrate the concepts of sustainability into a comprehensive business model that is based on the triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial performance, or People, Planet, and Profit. This seminar will examine the issues, challenges and concerns of providing Sustainability Leadership specific to the private sector, including maximizing efficiencies, making the business case, corporate social responsibility and reporting. Topics will include an in-depth review of policy and regulation, the effects of business practices on developing countries, social justice, human health, and climate change; as well as the positive impacts of business models that incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Participants will learn to align operational functioning with sustainability. They also will learn and practice stakeholder engagement and facilitation techniques to use in their own organization.

B/ Community Sustainability Management
Today, sustainability is an imperative for community vitality, as well as a source of new opportunity. The intention of this seminar is to integrate the concepts of urban sustainability into a comprehensive sustainable cities model that is based on the triple bottom line of social, environmental and financial performance, or People, Planet, and Profit. This seminar will examine the issues, challenges and concerns of providing Sustainability Leadership specific to the three primary social sectors (government, private, nonprofit), including making the business case, the social justice case and the environmental protection case. Topics will include an in-depth review of policy and regulation, the effects of business practices on local sustainability, social justice, human health, and climate change; as well as the positive impacts of alternative community development models. Participants will learn to align sustainability with concepts of governance, local economic vitality reporting, and community infrastructure changes for the future. They also will learn and practice stakeholder engagement and facilitation techniques to use in their own organization.

Seminar Schedule

  • Seminar 3
    • Start Date: May 9, 2014
    • Enrollment Deadline: April 25, 2014
  • Specialty Seminar A
    • Start Date: July 11, 2014
    • Enrollment Deadline: June 27, 2014
  • Specialty Seminar B
    • Start Date: August 15, 2014
    • Enrollment Deadline: August 1, 2014
  • Self-Paced Seminars

    Due to the popularity of the program, and the high number of interested students who missed (or may miss) the enrollment deadline for seminars 1 and 2, we’ll also be offering flexible, self-paced versions of these seminars that can be completed independently in addition to the faculty-lead seminars. This format offers access to the same database of helpful materials, assignments, and insight as those lead by faculty members, granting new students a chance to catch up quickly to the current student cohort and review required content on their own. Students who discover the program after the most recent enrollment deadline has already passed can still learn all the skills they’ll need for the next seminar, integrating smoothly into the upcoming session.

    Our Enrollment Representatives can work with you to develop a convenient path through the program that suits your needs. Please contact us for further information.

    Enrollment

    To enroll in either the complete online sustainability certificate program or individual seminars, please contact an Enrollment Representative at (866) 604-7790.


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