Business Case for Certificate in CSR/Sustainability, University of St. Michael's College

We recently asked our graduates: "What impact has the Graduate Certificate in CSR/Sustainability had on your career and your company's challenges and opportunities?"    They made the business case for us.  Check out the "Business Case in 4 Parts" and see articles on making the business case

 

 

1. Did graduating from the CSR Certificate program open new career opportunities for you?

Here is what some of them said:

  • I was hired by the United Nations to teach CSR to ten Caribbean postal administrations.
  • Helped me position myself as an expert in the field I was already in.
  • ...I certainly used the lessons I learned to advance my career but not in a way you would expect. I moved into government relations. I was able to leverage some of my experience with CSR to build relationships with politicians
  • It provided me with opportunities to expand my CSR responsibilities/accountabilities within my existing role.
  • Gave me an additional skill that became part of my consulting portfolio.

Also, participants reported that since their graduation they have advanced to some of the following positions: Executive VP & Chief Sustainability Officer, VP Stakeholder Relations, National Director Corporate Sustainability & Energy Management, Director Corporate Development, Managing Director etc.  

See our graduates here

2. Was your capstone project of value to your company?

Here is what some of them said:

  • Our company will go from not having any sustainability goals to a holistic plan that will advance both our company, and industry, as a whole.
  • The project I completed involved seeking certification for our responsible gambling efforts as part of our broader CSR strategy on a global scale.
  • Provided a road map to achieving our first sustainability report.
  • Increased my knowledge on the Global Reporting Initiative. Ended up with a contract with Global Reporting Initiative to assess their training programs.
  • Provided content to contribute to the strategic plan of the organization.
  • Helped with completing customer RFP process and inclusion into the DJSI globally.  See testimonials on the capstone here

3. After graduation, did you use the program's knowledge and skills to tackle a business challenge/opportunity for your company?

Here  is what some of them said:

  • Our new sustainability initiatives were directly relatable to the successful acquisition of two new top tier clients. Our bottom line has been greatly impacted, and the best part is - that's it's because we are simply doing the right thing. Sustainability is about long term growth investment, transparent and respectful business and employee relationships, environmental stewardship, support of our local community, and then understanding how to leverage and market those factors. We are very happy with the outcome and will continue to strive in social responsibility.
  • I was able to build win-win situations with stakeholders such as first responders, first nations people and government.
  • I was recognized as a specialist in my field, with comprehension of the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) landscape in Canada.
  • Changed the composition of our van and aircraft fleet.
  • Able to write and produce Sustainability Reports that subsequently won awards and were recognized internationally.
  • Developed an Sustainability Audit web process for customers and potential customers. Created a National CSR Communication Plan. Created National Green Teams.
  • I was able to achieve committed budget dollars towards the development of key employee CSR programs, which was extremely well received by all 600 of our employees. It helped us tell the CSR story, why our commitment matters and how it contributes to our company's long term sustainability with all of our stakeholders.

See what you learn here

4. Did the Certificate in CSR help you to build a professional network of colleagues and subject matter experts?

Here is what some of them said:

  • It's great to network with like-minded individuals. If nothing else, it's fascinating and rewarding. This accreditation has opened doors into networking opportunities that I hadn't expected, from client sustainability teams to my personal network. It's been a great experience.
  • After taking the program, I felt more plugged into the world of CSR and Sustainability, and met many people that I know I could reach out to.
  • I now have a broader network of CSR professionals outside the industry that I work in, which has enabled me to seek advice/input on challenges or opportunities I may be facing. This network has been invaluable to me.
  • When my job was eliminated with one company my network was not only emotionally supportive but shared job opportunities with me.
  • Since we often work in isolation, having those contacts to reach out to can offer ideas, support and sounding boards.
  • I have stayed in touch with many classmates (and with St. Michael's).
  • One of my objectives was to return to Canada from the US -- and to change industries. The network I established as part of the CSR course was very helpful.
  • Having the opportunity to meet and collaborate with CSR experts in different industries has enabled me to see CSR with a different lens which has allowed me to think more creatively about CSR as a whole.

See networked faculty here

Download a Presentation on the Business Case for this Program

Articles on the Business Case for Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

Project ROI (Return on Investment)

Sustainability Pays

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