Co-op program details

Sustainable Business Management

Program details

Credential: 1-Year Ontario College Graduate Certificate

This one-year Graduate Certificate program is focused on developing specialized knowledge, skills and abilities required to lead sustainability projects and programs for local and global organizations.

Students gain experience in developing plans to generate greater value, driven by enhancing triple bottom line productivity – people, planet and profit. Students examine and apply key topics in corporate responsibility, sustainable marketing solutions, methods for managing key performance indicators including waste, water and energy, strategies for employee engagement and sustainable business plan development. Students develop the necessary business skills to provide leadership, manage relationships, think strategically and apply systems thinking. Classroom instruction and learning is enhanced through case studies, group work, and an opportunity to work with a local client or community partner where students apply, integrate, and synthesize knowledge into a real-world sustainability application.

Co-op students and graduates of this program will be well positioned to write the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) exam and become a certified Sustainability Associate (SA), and are well-prepared to support business operations by acting as agents of change within both private and public sector organizations.

Student availability & wage data

Conestoga College facilitates recruitment on an ongoing basis - there are no hard deadlines. Typical time frames for work terms are listed below.

Postings are accepted beginning four months before the start of a term until all students have secured employment provided the minimum 12 consecutive weeks of full-time work is met.

Work/Study Sequence

Year Fall (Sept - Dec) Winter (Jan - Apr) Spring (May - Aug)
Year 1 Classes Classes Work Term: $17-27

Conestoga College collects data on hourly wages of co-operative education students and offers suggested ranges as a service to employers for the purpose of establishing fair and competitive compensation.

Our experience has been that employers increase wages as skills increase, particularly when employing students for more advanced work terms. The Co-operative Education Office can provide assistance to employers in establishing appropriate wage rates.

Work term capabilities

Sustainable Business Development

  • Develop a business case to justify investing in and embedding triple bottom line sustainability in organizations
  • Develop a sustainable business strategy using tools such as GAPFRAME, SDG Impact Assessment and SDG Compass
  • Develop a new business plan or re-imagine an existing one using the Triple Layered Business Model Canvas, which emphasizes life cycle thinking and a stakeholder approach
  • Apply the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework to place sustainability core to corporate strategy, to integrate sustainability across business functions and as a lens for business decision-making
  • Develop sustainable marketing plans for products and services to improve triple bottom line outcomes
  • Interpret, analyze and prepare data on financial statements, prepare budgets and complete variance analysis reporting as part of triple bottom line performance
  • Perform data analysis across different platforms such as Excel, Access DB, SAP and Cloud

Sustainable Operations

  • Apply systems thinking and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to assess operational impacts on Earth's natural and human systems
  • Utilize tools such as Portfolio Manager and RETScreen to assess and monitor environmental performance across key performance indicators, such as waste, water and energy
  • Conduct waste audits
  • Calculate a greenhouse gas inventory and generate greenhouse gas equivalencies
  • Conduct a feasibility study and produce recommendations for operational improvements for key sustainability metrics, such as waste, water and energy
  • Assist in ISO 14001 development, implementation or maintenance

Stakeholder Engagement and Sustainability

  • Complete a Sustainability Culture Gap Assessment using the Embedding Project ™ tool
  • Create an employee engagement survey, analyze and display results for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability
  • Develop an employee engagement strategy for CSR and sustainability
  • Assist in CSR & sustainability report development and maintenance, using frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative, B Corp and AASHE STARS
  • Communicate CSR and sustainability through technical reports and using graphic design platforms such as Canva, Piktochart and Adobe Spark

Sample job titles

  • Analyst, Sustainability
  • CSR & Sustainability Coordinator
  • CSR & Sustainability Program Manager
  • Environmental Technician
  • Outreach and Program Coordinator, Sustainability
  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Sustainability Reporting Analyst
  • Sustainable Events Coordinator
  • Waste Technician

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Contact information

Do you need help developing a recruitment plan or job posting, accessing wage information, or connecting with a talented co-op student? Contact:

Bailey Binns-Franchetto
Employer Relations Consultant