Unit 2: Sustainability Policies, Practices, and Leadership
Innovation and sustainability initiatives can be found at multiple levels of governments and organizations, from global, regional, and local, and across industries and sectors. This unit explores the regulatory environment, sustainability frameworks, organizational leadership, and related policies and practices.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 21 hours.
2.1: Public Policy and Sustainability Practices
Our planet provides shared resources, known as the global commons, that belong to everyone. Governments play an essential role in deciding how these resources are valued and create policies to help manage them. Since sustainability policies can either benefit or hinder economic, environmental, and societal success, it is essential to understand the policy-making process and ways to influence it proactively.
2.2: Sustainability Frameworks and Certifications
Since the need for sustainability is universal, organizations have made tremendous efforts to create sustainability frameworks and certifications that set goals for improved practices, methods for measuring progress, and rating systems to identify achievements. This section reviews some of the most important frameworks and certifications being used today.
2.2.1: U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
2.2.2: The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
2.2.3: Green Business Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
2.3: International Organizations as Leaders in Innovation and Sustainability
How do we take carefully-crafted global goals and aspirations and make them a reality on the global, regional, and local levels? How do we align government policies with real-world business applications to bring sustainable innovation into reality and transform our world? As you can imagine, this is a large and unwieldy process, but all change begins with first steps, and many steps add up to big changes.
2.3.1: Multilateral Government Initiatives
2.3.2: International Business Practices
2.4: Regional Organizations as Leaders in Innovation and Sustainability
Sustainability practices require efforts to be made at all levels, and ideally in alignment with global goals. Regional organizations and leaders are best-suited to determine the most important goals for their populations. This section explores regional government, business, and industry achievements and challenges for advancing the wellness of people and the planet by creating greater prosperity.
2.4.1: Regional Government Initiatives
2.4.2: Regional Businesses and Industry Practices
2.5: Local Communities and Individuals as Leaders in Innovation and Sustainability
Creating a better world requires a combination of top-down and bottom-up initiatives. Community sustainability is the ability of communities, leaders, and citizens to use resources wisely to meet needs today and in the future. In this section, you will explore real-world examples demonstrating what it means to "think globally and act locally" when designing and implementing sustainability programs at the community level.
2.5.1: Local Community Initiatives
2.5.2: Individual Entrepreneurs and Small Business Practices
2.6: Ethics Related to Innovation and Sustainability Policies and Practices
Leaders in sustainability must make connections between the SDGs, climate change, the circular economy, the new economy, and the moral dimension to create a responsible society. This section explores the ethical and moral aspects of sustainability and innovation.
These study sessions are an excellent way to review what you've learned so far and are presented by the professor who created the course. Watch these as you work through the unit and prepare to take the final exam.
Unit 2 Assessment
- Receive a grade