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Certification in Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Strategies

Swain Center for Executive & Professional Education
@ University Of North Carolina Wilmington Certificate
Governance & Accountability Institute Certification

About This Certification

Global Environmental, Social and Governance expectations are evolving fast, compelling firms to develop new capabilities to address the needs for environmental sustainability and social accountability. Given the immense growth of global and regional trade, firms large and small are ideally situated to lead the way for a low-carbon world economy.

This Certification program provides a broad overview of key corporate responsibility challenges and strategies that will enable organizations to succeed in the 21st Century Green Economy.

The broad objective of the Certification program is to equip you with cutting edge sustainability skills that firms need to thrive in a global Green Economy. The Certification program will explore how firms can leverage sustainability strategies to not only enhance their environmental performance but also their economic performance.

About The Swain Center for Executive & Professional Education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

The Swain Center at UNCW enhances the effectiveness of organizations in its region and the state of North Carolina through economic services, and executive and professional education. The Center’s activities benefit the Cameron School of Business through industry-university connections for faculty members and the institution. UNCW’s values of excellence, integrity, diversity, innovation, and community engagement provide the foundation and philosophy out of which flow the aspirations for the Swain Center.

The Swain Center provides the industry-university linkage to connect experts with business needs. Our programs reflect the strength of our faculty members in five areas: accounting, finance & economics, marketing, managing & leading, and operations & logistics. Most of our programs are facilitated by UNCW faculty members but we also draw on talented adjunct faculty members and local experts who have advanced degrees and industry experience.

Broad Topics Covered

1. Corporate Responsibility Overview:  What is sustainability, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, governance, ethics, and business stratgies related to CSR

2. Making a Business Case for Investing in Corporate Responsibility/Sustainability:  Link between sustainability and firm performance, importance of compliance, sustainable investing, and bottom of the pyramid strategies

3. Corporate Responsibility & Global Climate Change Issues: Global concerns, global public policy Initiatives, global bio-geochemical cycles

4. Corporate Responsibility Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change: Climate change mitigation strategies for various industrial sectors, global carbon markets, global cap and trade schemes

5. Corporate Responsibility for Biodiversity & Water Management: Strategies for conserving and leveraging biodiversity for competitive advantage

6. Corporate Responsibility for Valuation of Ecosystem Services: How firms can internalize global environmental externalities, global practices in payment for ecosystem services, economic approaches to valuation of ecosystem services

7.Sustainability Risk Assessment Strategy: Understanding enterprise risk management process, sustainability risk, and enterprise sustainability risk assessment

8. Sustainability Investment Decision Making Strategies: Challenges of sustainability investments, types of sustainability capital investments, sustainability investment process and methods

9. Green Firm-Specific Advantages for Driving Sustainable Competitive Advantage: Managing global environmental uncertainty, cradle to cradle strategies, closed loop production systems, recycling and upcycling

10. Assessing Organizational Sustainability/Audit: Benefits of sustainability assessments, key steps for conducting sustainability assessments, benchmark areas for sustainability assessments

11. Environmental Compliance Strategies: Role of EPA, environmental regulations such as Clear Air Act and Clean Water Act, strategies for enhancing compliance

12. Global Sustainability Reporting Frameworks: Global reporting initiative reporting framework, OECD guidelines, UN Global Compact, Carbon Disclosure Project


The Certification syllabus is available for review at this location.

Target Market

This certificate is open to individuals from all backgrounds, but is particularly applicable to:

Sustainability Managers
Sustainability Analysts
Governmental and International Bodies
MBA and Master programs with CSR focus
CSR & EHS Professionals
Compliance Professionals
Governance Professionals
And More!


This Certification has no prerequisites, and does not utilize a textbook.

You will need a computer capable of playing videos in the .mp4 format and headphones or speakers.

You will require a high-speed internet connection and a modern, updated web-browser, and a PDF reader.

Students have 3 months from the date of enrollment to complete the certification.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is this Certification?

The Certification consists of 12 sessions that are delivered asynchronously, and will require around 30 hours to complete.

How long do I have to complete this Certification?

You have 3 months from the date of enrollment to complete this program.

What does dual credentials mean?

Dual credentials/recognition: Gain both Industry Certification and a University Certificate. UNC-Wilmington consistently ranks on top university listings and was just ranked in the Top 10 on US News & World Reports as one of the Best Pubic Universities.

Course Staff

Dr. Nitish Singh

Program Developer: Nitish Singh, PhD

Dr. Singh is the Founder and Consultant at IntegTree LLC, an ethics, compliance and sustainability consulting company and is also an Associate Professor of International Business at the Boeing Institute of International Business at Saint Louis University. Dr. Singh holds a Scholar member position at the Center for Sustainability Saint Louis University and teaches courses in Business Sustainability, Global CSR and Sustainability reporting. Previously he was a Professor at California State University Chico. He holds PhD in Marketing and International Business from Saint Louis University; MA University of South Wales, UK; and MBA Pune University India.

His educational efforts have been supported by the US Department of Education, Qatar Foundation, CSU, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, LMI, and other companies. In his most recent grant project he analyzed the sustainability reporting practices of US Federal Government agencies. He serves as grant reviewer and has done grant application reviews and audits for the US Dept. of Education Business International Education grants.

Dr. Singh is the recipient of a variety of research excellence awards, faculty excellence awards, teaching awards, service excellence awards, and was named one of the top 10 reviewers for International Marketing Review. He has also been active in training and consulting in the fields of sustainability, corporate ethics and compliance, and localization of digital media. Some of the organizations he has provided training or consulting for include Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Yahoo, Globalization Partners, Canon, Lionbridge, Conversis Global and FedEx. His research has appeared in 60 academic journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), Journal of Business Research (JBR), Journal of International Marketing, Psychology and Marketing, International Marketing Review, Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, European Journal of Marketing, Thunderbird International Business Review, Journal of Advertising Research, Multinational Business Review, and Journal of Consumer Behavior. He has also presented his research and spoken at more than 80 academic and business conferences.

Brendan M. Keating

Instructor: Brendan M. Keating

Brendan is Vice President at IntegTree LLC, an ethics, compliance and sustainability consulting company. He has partnered with Dr. Singh in building the Certificate and Certification in Global Digital Marketing and Localization, and serves as co-instructor for that program. He is also Adjunct Faculty at Wilmington University, where he served as Course Developer for two courses in their Compliance Certificate Program. He has co-authored articles published in the American Subcontractors Association: The Contractor’s Compass journal, as well as in the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics: Compliance and Ethics Professional journal.