Business and Environmental Sustainability Certificate

Blend your business mind with a new environmental consciousness at SUNY Empire State College.

As more and more companies focus on environmental stewardship, it’s no longer enough to know about traditional business practices. Many positions now require employees to be knowledgeable about environmentally sustainable, cost-saving measures and socially responsible practices. Developing expertise in this area is essential for advancement.

The undergraduate certificate in business and environmental sustainability is designed to provide historical, economical, legal and ethical knowledge needed to make sound, forward-thinking and environmentally conscious business decisions.

Program Design

This certificate program combines multiple study options, including online instruction and face-to-face meetings with Empire State College mentors. The Business and Environmental Sustainability Certificate courses are fully applicable to an undergraduate degree program developed in the business, management and economics area of study.

The courses must be taken sequentially beginning with an introductory course and culminating with the capstone course. The capstone, Managing Sustainable Organizations, provides an opportunity to synthesize and integrate all that you have learned.

Courses and Studies

Principles of Environmental Sustainability

4 credits, introductory, liberal studies

An introduction to key concepts and thinking associated with environmental sustainability. Topics include systems thinking; natural laws; ecosystem organization and functions; diversity and complexity; flexibility and adaptation. The environmental impact of human activities such as agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation, is also considered.

Ecological Economics

4 credits, advanced, liberal studies

Students learn to think critically and analytically about natural resources and the environment, economics and policy and sustainability. Focus will be on understanding economic concepts and tools and how to apply them to real-world natural resource and environmental issues.

Ethics and the Ecology of Business

4 credits, advanced, liberal studies

Students will explore ethics and ethical theories that serve to frame business ethics. Students will learn about the relationship between business and the environment and how business practices create conditions that adversely affect ecological stakeholders, including people, air, water and land. Students will learn how to re-imagine business practices that work in concert rather than in conflict with these stakeholders.

Managing Sustainable Organizations

4 credits, advanced, liberal studies

Focus is on strategic planning and “greening” of business operations. Students learn the practical foundation needed to understand the role of management in the context of business and environmental sustainability. Ethical dilemmas, corporate social responsibility and leadership will also be discussed.

Certificate Program Coordinators

Mike Gillespie, Ph.D, associate dean, Central New York
Julie Gedro, MBA, PHR, Ed.D., associate professor of business, management and economics, Central New York

Email questions about the certificate courses to sustainabilitycert@esc.edu.