Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management Concentration
The earth is witnessing human-induced environmental change on a scale and at a pace that is unique in history. Increased levels of greenhouse gases are warming the planet; the extinction of species is occurring at an ever-faster rate; renewable resources such as water are being degraded; and finite resources such as fossil fuels are having widespread negative impacts on fragile, interconnected, natural systems. To survive, we must understand these impacts and develop real-world solutions that sustainably manage human interaction with natural systems. Our goal is to cultivate a new profession that manages earth systems in ways that will ensure the long-term viability of life on our planet. This concentration, coupled with the rigorous Executive MPA core, emphasizes integrated thinking and learning so that our graduates will see beyond linear and fragmented approaches to holistic planning for environmental sustainability.
The following course is required for the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management Concentration (3 Points)
|SUMA PS4100||Sustainability Management||3|
In addition to the core course, students must select 8 elective courses to complete the concentration (24 points)
|SUMA K4170||Sustainable Operations||3|
|SUMA K4035||Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Measuring and Minimizing the Carbon Footprint||3|
|SUMA K4169||Sustainability Metrics||3|
|SUMA K4135||Energy Analysis for Energy Efficiency||3|
|SUMA PS4145||Science of Sustainable Water||3|
|SUMA K4301||International Environmental Law||3|
|SUMA K4720||Policy and Legal Context of Sustainability Management||3|
|SUMA K4025||Sustainability Communications Strategy and Reporting||3|
|SUMA K4142||Sustainable Finance||3|
|SUMA K4175||Global Environmental Markets||3|
|SUMA K4370||Implementation of Corporate Sustainability Strategies||3|
|SUMA K4380||Financing Natural Infrastructure||3|
|SUMA K4230||The Earth's Climate Systems||3|
|SUMA PS4235||The Science of Urban Ecology||3|
|SUMA K4360||Sustainability Technology and the Evolution of Smart Cities||3|
SUMA PS4100 Sustainability Management. 3 points.
This course will begin by clearly defining what sustainability management is and determining if a sustainable economy is actually feasible. Students will learn to connect environmental protection to organizational management by exploring the technical, financial, managerial, and political challenges of effectively managing a sustainable environment and economy. This course is taught in a case-based format and will seek to help students learn the basics of management, environmental policy and sustainability economics. Sustainability management matters because we only have one planet, and we must learn how to manage our organizations in a way that ensures that the health of our planet can be maintained and bettered. This course is designed to introduce students to the field of sustainability management. It is not an academic course that reviews the literature of the field and discusses how scholars thing about the management of organizations that are environmentally sound. It is a practical course organized around the core concepts of sustainability.
Spring 2019: SUMA PS4100
|Course Number||Section/Call Number||Times/Location||Instructor||Points||Enrollment|
|SUMA 4100||001/15850||M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
301 Pupin Laboratories
SUMA K4170 Sustainable Operations. 3 points.
In this course, students will work to understand and communicate the importance of identifying and incorporating sustainability at each step along the value chain, including product design, procurement, distribution, manufacturing, product use and end-of-life disposition. By considering the organization holistically, students will perform analyses of the value chain, including Life Cycle and Cost/Benefit Analyses, and incorporate effective sustainability strategies into the organizational culture and day-to-day operations. Students will conduct risk analyses and implement risk reduction measures in an effort to develop, produce, and distribute more sustainable products and services, aligned with overall business goals. In addition to technical sustainability considerations such as climate change, energy, water and waste, students will be able to implement sustainability initiatives within operating organizations through innovative change management, culture change and other organizational strategies. Importantly, students will be challenged to think concretely about making choices and balancing elements of the triple bottom line in an overall business context.
SUMA K4035 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions: Measuring and Minimizing the Carbon Footprint. 3 points.
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to account for and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which contribute to global climate change. The course will address the importance of using estimation techniques to create GHG emissions inventories for organizations as well as for economic activities, such as transportation. The course will provide students an understanding of the protocols that that govern the practice of carbon accounting, and the standards by which GHG emissions inventories are verified and disclosed to the public. Moreover, the course will help students understand how to use carbon accounting as the basis for developing and prioritizing emissions reduction strategies for the purpose of mitigating climate change risks.
SUMA K4169 Sustainability Metrics. 3 points.
The course will focus on sustainability indicators, the process through which they were developed, and how they are used to shape policy and track progress. This course will examine the science and history of our current environmental crisis with a focus on the various policy initiatives and actions being taken globally and locally including the specific efforts of the C40 Cities (40 largest cities) to both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The class will look at case studies from different cities around the world as well as New York City's efforts through PlaNYC while introducing the principles underlying sustainability indicators-including greenhouse gas inventory protocols-and how they are used to influence and shape policies and decisions, and will offer students hands-on experience with these tools. The goal of this is to make students acquainted with the debate, challenges, and opportunities of a changing climate. The course will focus on the solutions and responses to the climate change challenges facing cities using real world and current examples. The course will survey a broad range of responses to climate change from international frameworks and global treaties to specific actions at the local level. Students will be required to critically evaluate what they have read and heard. In addition, the course will give students an opportunity to learn how to express their ideas verbally and in written form and conduct critical analysis of environmental data to develop and implement public policy. Assignments will give students the opportunity to use their technical and analytical skills while understanding the real world applications that will be important to their future professional work as planners, policymakers, advocates, architects, designers, and/or environmentalists.
SUMA K4135 Energy Analysis for Energy Efficiency. 3 points.
Best practice in energy management will always involve some level of complex engineering to survey existing conditions and predict energy savings from various improvement options. Sustainability managers need to understand how to manage and quality control that analysis and to translate the opportunity it reveals to decision makers within their organization. This class seeks to empower students to do that by providing an understanding of building systems and methods for quantitatively analyzing the performance of alternatives. At the end of this course, students will be able to be able to analyze the energy performance of an organization's buildings and operations in order to understand how it can reduce resource utilization and environmental impact. This class requires an understanding of Microsoft Excel and an enthusiasm for quantitative analysis. Although there are no prerequisites for the class, an ability to do some math is required. If you are not interested in dealing with technical information, this class is not for you. Note: This class expands on the 1st half the content for SUMA K4260 Dynamics of Energy Efficiency. There will be significant overlap of material between the two courses.
SUMA K4230 The Earth's Climate Systems. 3 points.
This course examines the fundamental physical processes that control the primary features and patterns of variability of the Earth's climate system. Specific topics include energy balance and the greenhouse effect, the circulation of the oceans and atmosphere, land surface interactions and feedbacks, the role of the biosphere and cryosphere, paleoclimatoloy, climate modeling, and global and regional patterns of climate variability and change observed and expected as a consequence of anthropogenic influences. The goal of the course is to provide students with the opportunity to gain a fundamental understanding of the processes that give rise to observed climate variability at a range of temporal and spatial scales. Students will develop the quantitative skills and knowledge to allow them to independently evaluate scientific claims about the state and behavior of Earth's climate system in the past, present and future. The course includes case study modules that integrate an understanding of the physical processes and important feedbacks in the context of policy- and management-relevant aspects of current and future climate change.
SUMA PS4235 The Science of Urban Ecology. 3 points.
Urban ecology is the study of both the interactions between organisms in an urban environment and the organisms' interactions with that environment. This course facilitates learning about 1) basic principles related to ecological interactions of life on Earth, 2) the causes and consequences of biological patterns and processes in urban environments, and 3) how ecology can inform land use decisions and applied management strategies of natural resources (e.g. water, air, biodiversity), particularly in urban environments. This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the ways in which ecological perspectives can contribute to an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems facing human society. Towards that end, this course covers topics ranging from applied ecology and conservation biology to sustainable development. It uses a cross disciplinary approach to understand the nature of ecology and biological conservation, as well as the social, philosophical and economic dimensions of land use strategies. Although in some ways cities may seem to be isolated from what we would otherwise call "nature," they are not, and this is a major theme of this course. This course includes discussion of biodiversity, ecosystem function, evolutionary processes, nutrient cycling, and natural resource availability in cities. Students will acquire an understanding of the ecology of human-dominated landscapes, the theory and study of urban ecology, and the application of ecological principles to building sustainable urban communities. Students will also explore timely and important urban ecology issues including ecological restoration, invasive species, and biodiversity conservation.
Spring 2019: SUMA PS4235
|Course Number||Section/Call Number||Times/Location||Instructor||Points||Enrollment|
|SUMA 4235||001/75780||T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
201a Philosophy Hall
SUMA K4360 Sustainability Technology and the Evolution of Smart Cities. 3 points.
The progress of sustainability in recent years has almost entirely been a result in the evolution of smart, sustainable technology solutions. This course examines opportunities to drive sustainability through technology applications with the end goal of piecing together all of the pieces to envision an intelligent city. Companies are increasingly turning to technology to fulfill their sustainability goals considering many technologies provide off-the-shelf, cost-effective and immediate savings compared to operationally invasive, resource-heavy sustainability transformation programs. Sustainability technology ranges from intelligent infrastructure to mobile applications that help to drive the "sharing economy". The course will provide an overview of the sustainability technologies that large corporations are actively pursuing and delve into the project management and integration strategies required to implement these solutions. Successful sustainability practitioners must not only have a strong understanding of the values and methodologies of sustainable operations, but also the tools and technologies available to drive sustainability throughout their organization. Upon completion of the class, students will have a sufficient level of understanding to discuss these solutions and relevant case studies with potential employers. This course will benefit anyone interested in a career in sustainability or in smart cities as it will provide them the skills and analytical capabilities to analyze which sustainability technologies are a good fit for their company's sustainability and growth strategy.
SUMA K4301 International Environmental Law. 3 points.
Public policy decisions made on the international level shape how sovereign governments and multinational corporations manage the man-made and natural environments. Sustainability practitioners must be able to understand global environmental issues and their effects on what they are charged to do. This course will provide students with an understanding of international environmental policy design and the resulting body of law in order to strengthen their ability to understand, interpret, and react to future developments in the sustainability management arena. This is not a comprehensive survey of international environmental law. After grounding in the history and foundational concepts of international environmental law and governance, students will explore competing policy shapers and the relevant law in the areas of stratospheric ozone protection, climate change, chemicals and waste management, biodiversity and forest conservation. The course will finish with a discussion of corporate standards and extraterritorial application of US environmental law.
SUMA K4720 Policy and Legal Context of Sustainability Management. 3 points.
Public policy shapes how the man-made and natural environments are managed and regulated. Sustainability practitioners must be able to understand public policy and its effects on what they are charged to do. This course will provide students with an understanding of environmental sustainability policy and the resulting law and regulations in order to strengthen their ability to understand, interpret, and react to future developments.
SUMA K4025 Sustainability Communications Strategy and Reporting. 3 points.
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of trends and best practices in corporate communications relating to sustainability, with a particular focus on global sustainability reporting frameworks and green marketing communications. It is designed for those who hold/will hold positions in organizations with responsibilities for communicating the sustainability goals, challenges and achievements, as well as accurately and honestly communicating the environmental aspects of an organization's products and services. Increasingly, large corporations are creating c-suite roles or dedicated departments to oversee this function. More typically, multiple functions contribute information such as: Corporate Communications, Marketing, Community Affairs, Public Policy, Environmental Health & Safety, R&D, Facilities, Operations and Legal. Benefits of reporting range from building trust with stakeholders, and uncovering risks and opportunities; to contributing to stronger long-term business strategy, and creating new products and services.
SUMA K4142 Sustainable Finance. 3 points.
This course is an introduction to how sustainability/ESG (economic, environmental, social & governance) issues have become financially material to the global credit, underwriting, insurance, risk management, venture capital and asset management capital markets. These issues have a direct impact on risk exposure and the quality of public, private and government debt/equity investments. By the end of the course, students should understand how these issues affect investment decisions made by institutional investors, corporate lenders, insurance companies, asset management funds, hedge funds, venture capitalists and retail investors, as well as business decisions made by corporate managers. They will be exposed to the global sources of environmental/sustainability corporate performance information, how "best-in-class" environmental investment relates to, and is different from, socially-responsible investing (SRI), and differences between European, North American and Asian markets. Risk management aspects of sustainable finance will be addressed, especially in regards to emerging finance areas such as carbon finance, corporate governance, sustainable development and agriculture/water development projects. SEC Reporting requirements for sustainability risks and opportunities, and the prospect of the issuance of "Integrated Corporate Reports" that combine financial and sustainability reporting will be discussed. The ethics of sustainability issues and their impact on management & finance will also be addressed.
SUMA K4175 Global Environmental Markets. 3 points.
Harnessing the power of financial markets to address environmental challenges is not a new idea, yet it offers one of the most promising mechanisms to deal with many of the world's most pressing issues including climate change, deforestation, acid rain, biodiversity and water. Environmental markets utilize transferable permits to control pollution, and have evolved from a little known policy tool to a broadly applied international program to address the largest global environmental challenges. The course will examine the theory and practice of environmental markets and will consider why emissions can now be traded. Climate change, carbon markets and the international agreements that underpin carbon markets will be discussed. The class will also look at the role of the public sector, including various U.N. agencies, multilaterals such as the World Bank, and various United States regulatory agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the part played by the private sector. The course will end with a look to the future, to the role of the developing world, to the direction that international negotiations are heading and to programs such as avoided deforestation (REDD).
SUMA K4370 Implementation of Corporate Sustainability Strategies. 3 points.
This is an applied course on the metrics, indicators and tools used by businesses to implement strategically relevant Corporate Social and Environmentally Responsibility (CR) or Sustainability programs. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the knowledge and tools used by practitioners in CR. Although this course explores details of the CR strategy implementation, it is designed to link CR to the overall business drivers and is therefore relevant for any potential corporate manager or consultant. A strategically relevant CR program must seek to build on the values of CR to the business and the business' stakeholders. Therefore, this course is structured around the top values that CR can bring to a business. Once we identify the ‘value pathway', we explore tools (standards, guidelines, benchmarks, certifications, analytic tools, etc) and metrics available to measure performance against those tools in order to achieve that value. The course relies heavily on class discussions through case studies, debates, hypothesis testing, role playing and student presentations. The course is split into six (6) sections - each representing a CR Value Pathway. Each Section will be comprised of 2 sessions during which we will discuss key dilemmas associated with the value pathway, discuss tools, metrics and indicators available to address the dilemma and then explore a business case study through student discussions.
SUMA K4380 Financing Natural Infrastructure. 3 points.
"Natural infrastructure"-the use of natural or engineered ecosystems and natural areas to provide services that could be provided through "grey infrastructure"-has received increasing attention as an alternative to traditional engineering solutions to protect water supplies, reduce flood risks, manage stormwater, and provide clean air. In addition, conservation is seen as a means of providing sustainable food supplies in response to increasing demand. While "greening" infrastructure is one aspect of the solution, a critical need is finding new ways to finance the construction and operation of our infrastructure in general. This course will explore the potential for natural infrastructure to address-in place of or in conjunction with grey infrastructure-many of the challenges that we face and the financing tools that could be utilized to accelerate and take to scale its adoption. The course will draw heavily from "real-world" examples in cities, corporations, financial institutions, and national and subnational governments that have utilized natural infrastructure and/or innovative financing mechanisms to meet their needs. Through a mix of lectures, case studies, problem sets, and guest lectures, students will gain the skills needed to quantify the value of ecosystem services and understand how private investment and financial mechanisms could accelerate the use of natural infrastructure.