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Sustainability has become a hot topic in business and, like it or not, sustainability is here to stay. Over the past 30 years, the issue has migrated from the fringe of companies to the C-suite. So what is “sustainability”? How and when is it relevant to an organization?

In this course, you will acquire a new framework for evaluating sustainability efforts. Using this framework, you will examine how sustainability applies to business and the private sector's unique role to play. You will then identify the implications sustainability has for different roles within your organization and answer critical questions to ensure that sustainability is a strategic growth driver for your company. Along the way, you will explore examples of the complexities organizations struggle with as they pursue sustainability goals. The time for sustainable business development is now, and this course will allow you to set a solid foundation for your sustainability goals.

Whether you are a consumer trying to make better purchases or a manager trying to improve your company, it is imperative to investigate beyond the surface of sustainability.

In this course, you will examine life cycle thinking and use it to make real improvements in products and services from the perspective of environmental and social sustainability. You will also explore valuable tools to help you refine your life cycle thinking and use it to identify where the biggest impacts lie in your journey to greater sustainability.

Your analysis will lead you to identify what sustainability issues your organization is currently taking into account for a specific product or service, and what key issues might be going unnoticed. You will then perform a qualitative analysis of the social and environmental impact of a product or service throughout its life cycle, from the raw materials stage all the way to its disposal. You will also differentiate between the sustainability issues you have detected for your product or service to identify those that your organization will be most effectively able to act on and highlight opportunities to innovate and improve its sustainability.

Complex problems often require complex solutions. In this course, you will explore six cutting-edge problem-solving methods and ways that you can apply them to sustainability issues in business. Systems analysis, design thinking, behavioral economics, positive psychology, crowd-sourcing, and big data can all help create solutions to some of the most critical sustainability problems organizations face today. You will explore each of these problem-solving approaches and practice applying them to a key sustainability problem. You will then strategize on how to combine approaches in order to create more nuanced strategies. With these powerful tactics, today's sustainability problems can become tomorrow's unique market opportunities for your organization.

Once sustainability issues have been identified and potential solutions have been defined, it's time to work on implementation. Implementing business solutions can involve many different moving parts both within and outside the organization. A business sustainability canvas can help you most effectively frame and strategize for the implementation of your sustainability plans.

In this course, you will focus on the motivation and goals for your sustainability efforts and identify the metrics you will need in order to track these goals. You will also identify the tactics you and your organization will use to achieve these sustainability goals as well as the capabilities and relationships required to achieve them. Finally, you will analyze the trends needed to enable progress toward your business sustainability goals, including regulatory, stakeholder, and customer trends.

For decades, stakeholder management considered the opportunity to maximize shareholder returns to be the main goal and guiding principle for businesses. In recent years, however, the growing demand to improve global sustainability along with the recent disruption by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift for businesses to do better in impacting sustainability efforts. To serve the interests of all stakeholders alongside profits is now more important than ever.

Stakeholder management can be done as a logical, repeatable process. In this course, you will investigate the external variable and impacts on your sustainability strategy. By evaluating your organization's key stakeholders, you will determine your current standings. You will then determine how to adjust your stakeholder relations to better achieve your profitability and sustainability. Armed with a stakeholder strategy, you will develop a plan for managing communication with your various stakeholders.

As you walk through the steps of analyzing and evaluating, you'll better understand the needs and contributions of stakeholders as well as how incorporating stakeholders into your daily business practices can result in correctly targeted business actions.

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