Course Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, successful participants will be able to take an active or leadership role in applying strategic sustainable development in their own organizations. More specifically, they will:

1. Gain a clear understanding of sustainability based on sound science and systems thinking.

Be able to recognize the importance of using robust science to inform business decision-making and communication of sustainability so as to avoid risk of green-washing and confusion between values and scientific requirements for sustainability. Be able to understand the interconnection and interdependencies between economy, society and the environment, and the implications for Corporate Responsibility of businesses in the 21st century.

2. Understand, communicate and apply the major components of planning in complex systems using Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development.

Describe the major components of a framework for sustainability planning and decision-making, including its scientific foundations, the five levels of comprehension necessary for planning in complex systems, the metaphor of the funnel, the four Sustainability Principles, backcasting from Principles of Sustainability and the ABCD process.

3. Identify the business case for sustainability, with specific reference to the chemical and related or chemistry-driven industries.

Outline the business case for sustainability, both in terms of the reduction of sustainability-related risks and of the strategic benefits enjoyed by organizations that are proactive about sustainability-related opportunities, with specific reference to the industry.

4. Outline the key sustainability challenges and opportunities of the chemical industry and related industries.

Be able to relate them to the sustainability principles, and show how addressing these challenges would mark a major shift towards sustainability in the industry and society, and yield clear business benefits.

5. Make effective use of various sustainability tools and concepts using the Framework.

Describe how the Framework helps in the selection, design and synergistic use of different sustainability tools and approaches, with specific reference to tools and approaches that are relevant to the industry. Recognize the uses of such complementary tools and approaches in one's own work context.

6. Facilitate a process to apply the Framework in your own organization.

This would include: i) identifying current unsustainable practices, ii) identifying a future sustainable state, iii) generating ideas and initiatives that are consistent with pragmatic shift towards a sustainable society, and iv) prioritizing early investments in that shift.

7. Draw on leadership and organizational change strategies for overcoming barriers to sustainability integration in organizations.

Identify leadership concepts relevant to implementing strategic sustainable development in organizations in order to energize the process and overcome institutional barriers, e.g. organizational learning, "diffusion of innovations" theory, change management.

8. Incorporate the knowledge gained into a sound, practical business case to take home to your organization.

Build your confidence to discuss the subject with certainty and have access to the resources and support to advance sustainability-related activities in your organization.

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