Efficiency gains, nor technological advances, nor clever marketing are enough to drive production and consumption to sustainable levels. It will require reassessing and reinventing the way business is conducted in both the private and public sector. Enterprise refers to a complicated undertaking that requires boldness and energy; CLiGS is interested in understanding and advancing enterprise that contributes to sustainability outcomes in its environmental, social, and economic sense.
Many enterprises are engaging in strategic planning and change management to improve their performance on a variety of sustainability metrics important to internal and external stakeholders. CLiGS focuses on the principles of organizational development and the rapidly evolving theory and practice of sustainable enterprise planning and management, including strategies and tactics of change management, stakeholder analysis and engagement, indicators and monitoring, transparency and accountability, communication, and, most of all, the leadership necessary to generate direction, alignment, and commitment for enterprise-wide change.
- Partnership with World Business Council for Sustainable Development to adapt the Business Ecosystems Training for a US audience
- Partnership with Campbell’s Soup Company to help scale-up their Healthy Communities program
- Examination of the cross-sector partnership between The Nature Conservancy and Cargill to advance sustainable soy production in the Northern Amazon Basin
- Evaluation and recommendations for sustainable operations of the Linden Centre, a top-ranked boutique luxury hotel in China
- XMNR students worked in partnership with WWF to produce internal research on demand for sustainable palm oil in China and India
- Consultation with Virginia Environmental Endowment to help the organization develop its five-year strategic plan
NR 5014 Constructing Sustainability (3 credits)
This course examines the science, policy and practice of sustainability and sustainable development in a global context. We will examine the history, current status and future prospects of sustainability and sustainable development from economic, social and ecological perspectives. In the past several decades, sustainability and sustainable development have gained status in political, scientific, business, religious and cultural institutions and are now guiding principles that frame and shape public policy and private practice at multiple scales. While these concepts are well‐established in many communities and cultures worldwide, they have only recently emerged as prominent features in the mainstream of contemporary popular culture throughout global society. This interdisciplinary course encourages students to consider how they can engage science, policy, professional and civic institutions in constructing sustainability.
NR 5834 Ecological Economics (3 credits)
This course provides a historical overview of various schools of economic thought, presents the major principles required to fuse ecology with economics, and helps students to analyze economic policies under the lens of ecological reality. Particular attention is paid to economic growth theory and policy as it pertains to the sustainability of human society and management of natural resources. This is a trans-disciplinary course, incorporating relevant principles and practices from political science, psychology, and physics in addition to ecology and economics. Students are not required to construct mathematical models. The course is organized in 4 modules (following an introductory session): 1) ecological principles; 2) economic principles; 3) integrating ecological and economic principles, and; 4) policy and political economy in relation to natural resources.
NR 5884 Food Policy & Sustainability (3 credits)
*NEW* How do politics and policy shape food and agricultural systems from “farm to fork”, including, production, regulation, distribution, sale and consumption? How is food connected to conservation and sustainability? What is the relationship between domestic agricultural systems, foreign policy, and international aid and trade? Why has there been an explosion in local, organic and free trade movements? This course will explore the structure of a globalized food landscape, with a focus on public and private decision‐makers from government and industry to relief and development organizations. We will analyze the economic, ecological, and social dimensions of food and farming policy on contemporary urban and rural issues, such as climate change, land use & livelihoods, biotechnology, national security and political instability, trade and subsidies, and human health.
NR 5884 Sustainability Case Studies (3 credits)
*NEW* Those of us who are passionate about the environment and sustainability issues often think first about solving problems in far corners of the globe. Examining our own neighborhoods, cities, and regions, can provide insights into the challenges of sustainability on a global scale. Each student will investigate the place where s/he lives and use the information gathered to develop a case study illustrating an important aspect of sustainability. This class provides opportunities to: learn from and draw upon insights from the perspectives and experiences of fellow students and to practice creative thinking, writing, and research skills as we analyze their communities’ connection and interaction with natural resource systems, such as water, food and agriculture, climate, and energy.