HomeNewsUMN launches innovative graduate-level certificate program in sustainability leadership

UMN launches innovative graduate-level certificate program in sustainability leadership

This announcement has been cross-posted from a news release first published by UMN News & Events, which you can read here

An innovative certificate in Sustainable Environmental, Social and Governance (SESG) Leadership — the University of Minnesota’s first graduate-level program in this specialty — will address a growing need for professionals with the skills to navigate today’s climate, environmental and social justice challenges.

Building on the University’s unique and comprehensive strengths, the multidisciplinary program was developed and sponsored by the Carlson School of Management, Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Institute on the Environment (IonE). The program targets the intersection of policy, business and environmental stewardship with courses that explore applications in areas such as organizational change, supply chain management, financial reporting, and intergenerational justice.

“Our approach underscores our commitment to preparing future leaders who are not only equipped to address pressing global challenges but are also poised to drive meaningful change within their organizations and communities,” said Humphrey School Dean Nisha Botchwey. “This certificate exemplifies our dedication to fostering sustainable solutions and empowering individuals to make a positive impact on the world.”

Businesses are recognizing the role they play in climate change as well as increasing calls from investors, regulators and the general public to take action. But many companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies lack the expertise to address these issues and the sustainability talent pool is also limited.

“The changing business landscape requires greater attention to sustainability efforts,” said Carlson School Dean Jamie Prenkert. “This leadership certificate is a strategic joint effort to elevate our University’s educational opportunities to give our students a competitive edge and provide them with tools to be agents of change across industries.”

The 12-credit program is designed for working professionals, with courses offered during evenings and weekends and through a mix of online or hybrid modalities.

“Sustainability is a long game — a lifelong pursuit — and this program offers a new path for working professionals to learn new tools and techniques, build their networks and expand the impact of their work,” said IonE Executive Director Jessica Hellmann. “As a catalyst for interdisciplinary environmental work, IonE is thrilled to be working with the Humphrey and Carlson Schools to build a program that crosses colleges, schools, and the public and private sectors.”

By launching the SESG Leadership certificate, the University of Minnesota remains competitive with similar offerings from leading universities nationwide. Fall enrollment for the SESG Leadership certificate begins April 2024 and is open to all UMN graduate students and non-degree-seeking students.

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