About this Course
4.7
13 ratings
7 reviews
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Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 19 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 4 - 8 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 19 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 4 - 8 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Introduction to Change and Change Agents

Welcome to the first class of Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent. This week we introduce you to several people who are making changes and talk about the class and the entire specialization. We also begin to think about what type of changes you should look for at the start of your change agent career. Finally, we discuss what a good proposal has to do to be approved. The proposal has to convince decision-makers that your change helps the company or organization. So you need to make sure that the right people support your idea, that the right person receives it and that you have made a sound case for the sustainability change you are proposing. During the next classes we will help you learn the tools to put together a powerful proposal and to identify the key people who will influence your idea being implemented. We hope by the end of this specialization you will have a proposal for a change in your company, or have the tools so when that opportunity arises you can be an agent of positive change. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 51 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Lesson 2 - Stories of Change12m
Lesson 3 - What to look for in a first project11m
Lesson 4 - Starting as a Change Agent: Jarrett Smith Interview14m
Lesson 5 - What does a good change proposal look like?7m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 1 - Getting Started20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Finding a good first project

This week we discuss what you should be trying to accomplish with your first sustainability change project and give you some ideas of the types of projects that are likely to be successful. We also introduce the notion of establishing a baseline so you can measure the effect of your change....
Reading
7 videos (Total 80 min), 2 quizzes
Video7 videos
Lesson 2 - Good first Projects - Behavioral Nudges9m
Lesson 3 - Good First Projects: Recycling8m
Lesson 4 - Good first projects: Reporting6m
Lesson 5 - B-Corps: Goals Besides Profits An Interview with Kara Peck12m
Jarrett Smith - Starting your change agent career14m
Graham Russell - Recycling as a first project18m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 2 - Great First Change Opportunities20m
Week
3
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Financial Analysis for the Business Case

An important aspect of making the business case of change is to show the likely financial impact of the change. Ideally, we will find improvements that increase profits either by saving the company money or by increasing sales. To demonstrate these financial benefits we use a standard tool from financial analysis - Net Present Value analysis (NPV). The idea underlying Net Present Value analysis is that we estimate all the cash inflows and outlays associated with a project, then through a technique called discounting (or computing the present value) we shift all the cash flows into the present so they can be compared. You cannot compare an outlay made to day directly to a cash flow or profit to be received in two or three years. Combining the present value of the cash flows - adding the present value of benefits and subtracting the present value of outlays - gives us the Net Present Value. If the NPV is positive the benefits, adjusted for time, more than offset the costs and the project enhances the value of the company. If the NPV is negative then the monetary benefits do not more than offset the costs. But there may be non-monetary reasons for pursuing the project. This is where we begin to consider the reasons for companies becoming sustainable discussed in Week 2 of this module. The business case includes the financial impact and non-monetary sustainability impacts of the change. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 38 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
Lesson 2 - Present Value and Doing an NPV7m
Lesson 3 Net Present Value Practice Problem11m
Lesson 4: Computing Return on Investment and Payback10m
Reading2 readings
Hydration Station Case10m
Excel Resources (Optional)10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 3 - Financial Analysis20m
Week
4
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Starting to Make the Business Case for Sustainability

In this module we cover two topics: The benefits for companies of being sustainable and aspects of our economic system that prevent/discourage companies form being more sustainable. The goal of the module is to give you the first tools for making the business case for sustainability. The benefits of sustainability will be important as you put together your proposal for change. If you work in the sustainable business arena very long you will need to know some of the vocabulary and economics that cause some of our environmental and social problems. These are market failures. We'll introduce three: externalities, common access resource problems and information failures. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 30 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video4 videos
Lesson 2 - Why Become a Sustainable Company? Part 25m
Lesson 3 - Market Failures Part 1 - Externalities7m
Lesson 4 - Market Failures Part 2 - Common Access Resources & Information10m
Reading3 readings
Week 4 Introduction (Start Here)10m
Resources on - Why Companies Should Go Green and Market Failures10m
Additional Readings and Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Quiz 4 - Why become sustainable and market failures22m
4.7
7 ReviewsChevron Right

Top Reviews

By LBAug 13th 2018

I am a sustainability professional and I learned a lot with this course! The instructors are awesome and the topics are very current.

By AWFeb 28th 2018

Easy to follow, well laid out, great information. Definitely starts with the basics, which is what someone like me needed. Thanks!

Instructor

Avatar

John Byrd

Senior Instructor
Managing for Sustainable & Finance

About University of Colorado System

The University of Colorado is a recognized leader in higher education on the national and global stage. We collaborate to meet the diverse needs of our students and communities. We promote innovation, encourage discovery and support the extension of knowledge in ways unique to the state of Colorado and beyond....

About the Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent Specialization

About the course This specialization is for anyone who would like to improve how their company or organization impacts the environment, people and communities. We will introduce you to some of the key concepts and tools of sustainable business, then teach you how to be an effective change agent. By the end of the specialization you will have the skills to create an effective sustainability proposal and know who you have to convince, and what they need to be convinced. The Classes Class 1: First Steps in Making the Business Case for Sustainability Identifying a good first project, writing an effective proposal, financial analysis & sustainable thinking. Class 2: More on Change and Sustainability Implementing change, green design, sustainability reporting, examples from practitioners/ Class 3: Sustainable Business: Big Issues, Big Changes Climate change, carbon footprinting, Context-based sustainability and science-based targets, water and energy, workplace sustainability issues, and supply chain impacts. Class 4: Comprehensive Case The capstone class haps you put all the pieces together as you produce a complete proposal for change! This proposal can be based on a case we have written or for your organization, or both....
Become a Sustainable Business Change Agent

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.