Making the Business Case for Sustainability

Sustainability CAN be more profitable, enhance brand value and provide better ROI. Learn how!
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  • Lectures 23
  • Length 31 mins
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 7/2015 English

Course Description

One of the most important things when discussing sustainability is being able to make the business case. Many people see a tradeoff between financial bottom line benefit for a company and doing better for the environment or society as a whole. In this module you will learn how to dispel that myth and show that a business can be more profitable, enhance brand value, provide a better return to investors and gain a competitive advantage by implementing sustainability. By the end of this course, you will be able to answer these questions:

  • Why are sustainable investments outperforming the DJIA?
  • How are accounting standars changing and hwat are their relationships with the way business will need to change what it tracks and measures?
  • How can I show my company's social and environmental peformance by integrating it into annual reporting?

What are the requirements?

  • no extra software needed

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand that sustainability is about cost savings, risk reduction, brand value, employee productivity and top line revenue
  • Analyze Triple Bottom Line (TBL) examples of companies taking leadership in sustainability and thriving because of this strategic decision
  • Understand that change is possible at all types of businesses by reviewing specific case studies within different types of industries

Who is the target audience?

  • Students who are currently working in a company that is not sustainable and wish to convince management they should implement sustainability or students who currently work within the sustainable sector would benefit from the content of this course

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction to Making the Business Case for Sustainability

In this lecture, learn how to utilize both internal and external pressures to make the business case for sustainability and uncover opportunities to make money.


In this lecture you will learn includes how to truly make the business case, external factors affecting business decisions, case studies and elements of creating the business case for sustainability.


Many people say that policy and government is needed to drive sustainability. In this lecture you will understand why policies around sustainability have stalled at a national and international level, and why business has picked up the reigns to lead with sustainability.


Learn why CEOs see sustainability as value add to their business instead of as an expense. Business opportunities from increased market share, new revenue streams and opportunities to make money through innovation and bold commitments.

3 questions

A short quiz to test your understanding on Making the Business Case so far.

Section 2: Is Sustainability Profitable?

Learn how sustainability focused companies are outperforming traditional ones in the financial markets.


In this lecture, learn how external factors such as extreme weather have significantly impacted how the insurance industry approaches paying out claims.


The financial markets reveal how the Dow Jones Sustainability index outperforms the Dow and S&P 500 - even during an economic down time.


Learn how institutional investors are pushing companies to address climate change in their business strategies.


In this lecture, learn how the debt markets are requiring large infrastructure projects to demonstrate environmental and social performance before handing out loans.

6 questions

A short quiz to check your understanding of section two of Making the Business Case.

Section 3: Sustainability and its effect on Operations and Employees

Learn more about how large companies, such as Wal-Mart are pushing sustainability requirements down their supply chain, how customers are influencing suppliers by voting with their dollars, and how employees prefer to work for a socially responsible company.


Learn how large companies are engaging their suppliers around sustainability through questionnaires, RFP policies, internal sustainability indices.


Sustainability is a huge factor in how Millennials view their employers. Learn how sustainability can affect recruiting and retaining young professionals.


Learn the benefits of an engaged workforce and how sustainability can improve employee engagement.


In this lecture, learn how to take the language of sustainability and match it with business priorities to generate buy-in.

4 questions

This quiz will test your understanding on Section 3 of Making the Buisness Case

Section 4: Industry Case Studies on Sustainability

Discover how companies such as Toyota are able to reduce their environmental impacts and save money at the same time.


In this lecture you will see how one aspect of sustainability, renewable energy, is creating more jobs and a cleaner environment.


Learn how a Seattle-based law firm found cost savings and an additional revenue stream through digital paper storage.


Learn how a property management company utilized smart-time optimization programming to improve their brand and reputation within the city.


Learn how a company used innovation to turn what was considered waste (used bike tubes) into a product to sell.


Learn how a company converts carbon from automobile exhaust and converts to nanotubes which are used to build laptops, mobile phones and computers.


Learn how a company turns cow manure into energy, finding a way to turn waste into an additional revenue stream.

Section 5: Conclusion

Find out how making the business case is an opportunity to show how businesses can not just save money but make money as well.


In this lecture, hear an overview of why sustainability is beneficial for businesses, and what to talk about while making the business case.

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Instructor Biography

Kevin Wilhelm, Acclaimed Author. Inspiring Speaker. Sustainability Expert.

Kevin Wilhelm is the world’s pre-eminent consultant in the field of business sustainability and climate change. He is the CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting & Education, a Seattle-based company focused on delivering business value through the integration of sustainable business practices. He is also an acclaimed author, speaker and teacher and has developed a series of online courses and modules around sustainability for both the corporate and academic markets.


Kevin brings over 19 years of experience working with 95+ businesses ranging across 23 different industries from Fortune 50 multinationals to medium-sized businesses. Some of his firm’s clients include Nordstrom, Amazon. com, REI, Alaska Airlines, The North Face, Redbox/Outerwall, Expeditors, Real Networks, Drugstore. com and Brooks.


He is the author of two acclaimed books in the field of sustainability: “Making Sustainability Stick: The Blueprint for Successful Sustainability Implementation”and “Return on Sustainability: How Business Can Increase Profitability & Address Climate Change in an Uncertain Economy.”

Kevin has written over 20 published articles on sustainability for organizations such as Sustainable Industries, Triple Pundit and Environmental Leader and was a contributing writer to three additional books:

    §“Green Jobs: a Guide to Eco-Friendly Employment,”

    §“Advancing Sustainability in Higher Education” and

    §“Go Green Rating Scale for Early Childhood Settings.”


Kevin has created course content and taught over 10 different graduate level courses on sustainable business at three different universities. His courses include:

  • Foundations of Sustainability
  • Intro to Sustainable Business
  • Triple Bottom Line Accounting
  • Sustainability as Strategy
  • Sustainability and Economics
  • Stakeholders and the Bottom Line (Finance)

    §Sustainable Marketing

    §Sustainable Finance

    §Sustainable Operations

    §Management for Sustainability

    §Advanced Business Modeling

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