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UNH, NHBSR Launch Certificate in Corporate Sustainability

By Sara Cleaves, Sustainability Academy
July 6, 2011

UNH and the New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) will launch a unique professional certificate in corporate sustainability program directed toward mid-level and senior professionals seeking to increase knowledge and functional skills in the practices and principles of corporate sustainability.

The first institute of the certificate in corporate sustainability launches Oct. 4-6. Participants may register at www.nhbsr.org/certificate. NHBSR members receive a 15 percent discount.

Participants may attend only the institute or can elect to apply the knowledge gained during the institute to a workplace capstone project. Those who attend the institute and complete a capstone project will receive the professional cCertificate in corporate sustainability.

“The challenges we face globally demand innovation and creativity, attributes also necessary to drive business success,” says Tom Kelly, UNH’s chief sustainability officer and director of the UNH Sustainability Academy. “Participants will take both away from the new professional certificate in corporate sustainability to hit the ground running in pushing sustainability forward when they return to the job.”

The institute focuses on tools, techniques and solutions for implementing environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Topics taught will cover people, profit and planet -- from triple bottom line financing and understanding how environmental trends affect the business world to employee and stakeholder engagement. 

Capstone projects will be designed by individuals based on real-world needs at their places of business. Companies will see an immediate return on investment as their employees gain new knowledge and skills and emerge dedicated to implementing sustainability-related projects at work. Participants in the capstone project will be mentored by faculty or business leaders who will assist them with recommendations and counsel.

“We are excited to partner with NHBSR in providing businesses with the latest sustainability knowledge and tools,” says Dan Innis, dean of the Whittemore School of Business. “Both UNH and NHBSR are driving the growing green economy in New Hampshire. Green business makes sense both environmentally and economically, and it is important that business leaders understand how to apply sustainability concepts to their products and services.”

The new professional certificate will give participants both practical knowledge and tools in sustainability, and it will allow them to network with and learn from UNH faculty, regional business leaders, and a supportive cohort of peers. Developed by the Sustainability Academy, the Whittemore School of Business and Economics (WSBE), and NHBSR, the new program was made possible through a two-year sponsorship by Timberland, a business pioneer in sustainability. (More information about Timberland’s sustainability program is at http://community.timberland.com.)

“Our new professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability with UNH fills a gap that our members say has been missing for years,” says Kate Luczko, interim executive director of NHBSR. “And it reflects the fact that sustainability in business isn’t a trendy concept but an integral part of how companies do business today.”

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) builds and supports a network of businesses in the state and region committed to adopting socially responsible business practices, recognizing that people, principles and profits are inseparably linked. More information can be found at www.nhbsr.org.

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