Certificate in Sustainable Business | UVA McIntire School of Commerce
Professor White with MBI

Certificate in Sustainable Business

The Certificate in Sustainable Business is the McIntire Business Institute's newest offering. Designed in partnership with GreenBlue, an environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to the sustainable use of materials in society, this online course is designed to help working professionals, students, and other interested parties acquire a significant understanding of the fundamental challenges and business opportunities arising from our current sustainability crisis and learn business through the lens of social, environmental, and fiscal responsibility.

Who It's For

Working professionals, graduate students, or undergraduates who are working toward or have a degree in liberal arts or science or a business-related major




During the course of 13 weeks, students will build knowledge in the following key curriculum areas:

Energy and Climate Change: In this module, students will obtain a scientific understanding of how energy-related emissions contribute to global warming and become conversant about the evolution of international climate change mitigation treaties. Sample topics and courses include Energy Production and Use, Fundamentals of Climate Change, Mitigation and Adaptation and Alternative Technologies.

Biodiversity and Water: Three global resources strongly feeling the effects of human influence are 1) the multitude of different species we have on Earth, 2) the limited freshwater we so drastically need for our survival, and 3) the oceans that cover most of the Earth’s surface, providing food and other ecosystem services. Sample topics and courses include Biodiversity, Water, Overfishing and Ocean Plastics.

Forests, Land and Food: This module examines how humans intentionally or unintentionally transform the land. Students will acquire a fundamental understanding of the sustainability challenges associated with land, food, and forests. Sample topics and courses include Living on the Land, Deforestation, Soil Degradation, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

The Business Case: Businesses are embracing sustainable practices to seize opportunities from greater efficiencies and increased demand, to respond to changing external pressures and threats, and from a sense of responsibility for their activities in the greater society. Sample topics and courses include Importance of Vision, The Responsibility Case and Measuring Progress.

Strategy for Sustainability: In this module, students will be gain a foundational understanding of how a firm’s strategy is an important component to its success as a sustainable business. Sample topics and courses include Situational Analysis, Establishing Strategic Direction, Strategy Formulation and Implementing and Executing Strategy. 

Marketing Sustainability: In this module, students will explore effective approaches to marketing sustainable products, services, and behaviors. Sample topics and courses include Customer Segmentation, Marketing Strategies, Greenwashing and Social Marketing. 

Sustainability and Finance: Finance has an important role to play in achieving a sustainable future, providing a framework for evaluating productive opportunities and guiding capital towards more environmentally and socially desirable ends. Sample topics and courses include Analysis of Investment Projects, Payments for Ecosystem Services, Sustainable and Responsible Investing and Impact Investing. 

Managing Sustainability: Sustainability doesn't just happen—it requires leadership, motivation, and commitment from all members of an organization. Sample topics and courses include Encouraging Innovation, Supply Chain Management, Engaging Stakeholders and managing Change.

Life Cycle Assessment: In this module, students will gain conversancy with the widely used sustainability evaluation technique known as life cycle analysis (LCA). Sample topics and courses include Conduction an LCA and Extensions and Frontiers. 

Sustainable Design: In this module, students will examine sustainable design perspectives. Sample topics and courses include Introduction to Design Thinking, Taking Design Cues from Nature, Principles of Green Design and Sustainable Design. 

Sustainable Structures: In this module, students will acquire an understanding of the profound effect that the built environment has on natural resources and human health. Approximately 40% of all energy and resources are consumed by this single sector. Sample topics and courses include Why Buildings Matter to Business, Green Building Design and Workplace Sustainability.

Sustainable Communities: This module investigates the principles and triple bottom line of sustainable community development—environmental quality, economic health, and social equity. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of how we can improve our community quality of life and well-being both today and for future generations, while living within ecosystem limits, or one planet living. Sample topics and courses include Urbanization and Urban Design, Cities as Systems, Healthy, Equity and Justice and Sustainability and the Planning Process.

Tuition: $2,500

For More Information

Email Ashley Robinson, mbi@comm.virginia.edu​​​, or call 434-924-0719.

“Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges with respect to resource availability and resource demand. We must conduct business differently if we are to ensure the well-being of future generations."

Mark White