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NC State Launches Innovative Business Sustainability Certificate

The new NC State Business Sustainability Certificate will give students hands-on experience working with faculty and industry leaders to address global challenges through sustainable business practices. 

Developed through a collaboration between NC State’s Poole College of Management and College of Natural Resources, the certificate “is innovative, global and applied,” says Jessica Yinka Thomas, director of the NC State Business Sustainability Collaborative and associate professor of practice in Poole College. 

“Participants will analyze how sustainable business strategies are used as drivers for innovation, collaboration and transformation, including leading edge business topics from Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, from a global perspective,” she says. 

Students will also have the ability to apply those skills to decision-making for business through multiple practicum courses. The flexible, 12-credit certificate program can be completed entirely online, with optional in-person courses and global experiences. 

“Companies are now realizing that sustainability is increasingly a core business strategy to engage stakeholders by addressing social, environmental and ethical issues in a way that creates bottom-line value,” Thomas says. “As we educate the next generation of business leaders and innovators, it’s critical for us to ensure that they are prepared to address the key issues facing business today and into the future.”

Thomas will teach the certificate’s signature course, MBA 582, known as B Corp Clinic Sustainability Practicum. It is a unique hands-on experience in which students will be paired with aspiring B Corporations — including leading companies like Red Hat and Raleigh Founded — to help them strengthen their social and environmental impact. This semester-long course will be required of all students completing the Business Sustainability Certificate. 

“We’ll explore business models and strategies that companies can use to drive social and environmental change, and uncover why purpose-driven businesses are particularly well positioned to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, from climate change to DEI,” Thomas says.

The NC State Business Sustainability Certificate is open to working professionals with an undergraduate degree, Jenkins students and NC State graduate students. Applications are now open for August enrollment.

This post was originally published in Poole College of Management News.