Professionals looking to advance their career through training in sustainable solutions can choose from four specialized certificate options. These options provide an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed to integrate sustainable management solutions and systems thinking into any industry. It enables students who may already have a graduate degree and/or industry experience to add the language and tools of sustainability to their skill set while becoming a part of a growing global network of sustainability leaders. Choose a track that fits your goals.

Track 1: Sustainable Operations

Sustainable Operations requires three courses to complete. Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM) introduces the student to the sustainability frameworks and practices with which the pressing challenges business faces in becoming sustainable can be analyzed and understood. Operations and Production explores the use of sustainability practices and analysis tools in optimizing the delivery of products and services and demonstrates how principles of industrial ecology and life cycle assessment can be applied in the design of sustainable supply chains. Two particular areas of emphasis are circular economy and life cycle assessment. In this course, students engage in a team of 3-5 students in an Experiential Learning project in which they work within a company or nonprofit to develop a sustainable operations plan for the organization. Implementation of Sustainable Practices complements the Operations course, providing an opportunity for students to apply some of the leading sustainability frameworks such as Natural Capitalism and the Natural Step to drive a commitment to sustainability into an organization’s DNA, from management and communications to production and operations to marketing and HR. Students work in teams in this course to develop a corporate sustainability plan.

  • Term 1: Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM)
  • Term 2: Operations and Production and Implementation of Sustainable Practices.
Track 2: Sustainable Marketing & Product Development

Sustainable Marketing & Product Development requires three courses to complete. Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM) introduces the student to the sustainability frameworks and practices with which the pressing challenges business faces in becoming sustainable can be analyzed and understood. Managerial Marketing introduces a framework for marketing within the context of sustainable management. Students engage in an exploration of the implications of sustainability for marketing and are challenged to critically analyze marketing strategies, plans, and decisions. Most importantly, students are taught the mindset of a marketer for sustainability — the ability to inquire into the real needs of the individual and society and to serve them. Students team up in this course to build a sustainable marketing plan for a company or nonprofit. Sustainable Products and Services focusing on the entrepreneurial process of innovation, development, and commercialization of new products that contribute to sustainable development. It examines how sustainable products contribute to the firm’s competitive advantage and generate entrepreneurial opportunities. It introduces sustainability frameworks to integrate environmental and societal externalities in the traditional product design process. Students work in teams to identify a market opportunity, develop a concept for a sustainable product in that market, and plan the full design, development, and commercialization of the product.

  • Term 1: Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM)
  • Term 2: Managerial Marketing and Sustainable Products and Services
Track 3: Sustainable Finance and Capital Management

Sustainable Finance and Capital Management requires four courses to complete. Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM), introducing students to the sustainability frameworks and practices with which the pressing challenges business faces in becoming sustainable can be analyzed and understood. Managerial Accounting. providing a comprehensive introduction to financial and managerial accounting but more importantly, teaches tools for addressing the environmental, social, and ethical dimensions of accounting. Managerial Finance  covering the traditional tools of financial analysis and management, while acquaints the students with socially responsible investment models and the relationship between human, natural and financial capital. Capital Markets. providing students with an understanding and appreciation of the institutions, flow of money, functions, laws, and language of the Capital Markets through the lens of sustainability. It explores how the capital markets can be accessed and used to achieve sustainability goals, and how the capital markets can impact us as we pursue sustainability goals. The course introduces the new field of impact investing, which differs from socially responsible investing in that it is investing in companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate substantial and measurable social and environmental impact simultaneously with a substantial financial return. The course utilizes examples in sustainable agriculture and food systems to demonstrate how capital markets can both support and hinder sustainability.

  • Term 1: Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM)  and Managerial Accounting
  • Term 2: Managerial Finance
  • Term 3: Capital Markets
Track 4: Sustainable Leadership

The Certificate in Sustainable Leadership requires three courses to complete: Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM) , Effective Management, Communication & Action (EMCA) and Leadership for Sustainable Management. EMCA is taken concurrently with Principles of Sustainable Management. It provides a strengths-based approach to fostering the essential individual leadership and communication capabilities needed for managers in business and public administration. These capacities are necessary for collaborating, influencing and acting as an effective change agent for sustainability in any type of business, organization or community. Students develop communication approaches, reflective practices, and the essentials of team effectiveness. They practice communication skills and strengthen their personal effectiveness through self–assessment, feedback, and practice in a reflective, supportive environment. They work in teams to develop their abilities to observe and respond to team challenges. The focus of the Leadership for Sustainable Management course is on further developing the student’s capacity to be an authentic leader and change agent. The course builds on the strengths-based approach introduced in the EMCA course. Students continue to build capacity in dealing with conflict, virtual leadership and complex change management challenges in a reflective, supportive environment. They identify roadblocks through individual assessment, team project feedback, and targeted development planning. They explore the meaning of leadership as it has changed over time and the new roles required to facilitate organizational and social transformation toward sustainability. Collaborative leadership processes are explored as a necessary complement to individual leadership capacity in the transformation to managing organizations sustainability.

  • Term 1: Principles of Sustainable Management (POSUM)
  • Term 2: Effective Management, Communication & Action (EMCA)
  • Term 3: Leadership for Sustainable Management
Additional Program Details
  • Upon completion of all required certificate courses, the student will receive a certificate of completion issued by Presidio Graduate School and their certification will appear on their official transcript.
  • Certificate students are expected to meet the prerequisite competencies of each course of the selected track prior to starting the program.
  • PGS courses are delivered in a hybrid (virtual and in person) format. Each course meets monthly, five times per semester for all-day in-person residency classes and weekly virtual or in-person collaborative work sessions in between each residency. For more information see the learning environment page and the Academic Calendar.
  • If you are potentially interested in applying to PGS’s MBA or MPA program, the courses that are completed through the certificate program can be applied toward your MBA or MPA degree.
  • For more information, please contact
Learning Methods

The Certificate program combines the effectiveness of face-to-face learning with the convenience and efficiency of distance learning. Each semester the program is comprised of monthly four-day weekends of intensive interpersonal instruction in a classroom setting. On-site learning is combined with a robust, interactive online component, conference calls, readings, team-oriented assignments and projects with real companies. Certificate students generally attend PGS as part-time students, registering for one or two courses a semester. Students attend residency weekends for one or two days a month, and each class is a full seven hours of instruction. These residencies occur anywhere from Thursday through Sunday, one week a month.

Minimum Academic Standard

To be awarded a Certificate, a candidate must have a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (cGPA) of 3.0 after completing all courses required for the certificate. If a candidate does not achieve the cGPA minimum, they will not be granted a Certificate. All candidates are subject to PGS Add/Drop and Withdrawal deadlines. Certificate candidates are not eligible for Leaves of Absence or the issuing of incomplete grades.

Interested in pursuing a certificate?

Application Requirements